Officials in Waterloo Iowa are discussing drafting an ordinance that would target pit bulls.
This follows an attack in which two people were injured. Three dogs were loose and unsupervised when the attack occurred on a public street. An older woman, 65, and a 13-year-old boy were injured in the attack.
According to the reports one dog was shot. This dog is identified by officials as a pit bull. The two other dogs were captured and are being held. One is reported to be a Boston Terrier mix, the other is also reported as a pit bull. The owner of the two dogs in the custody of animal control has been found. The dog that was shot was a known stray in the area, though officials are attempting to find an owner.
The female victim and her husband have stated publicly that they do not blame the breed of the dog, but rather the way the dogs were being managed, or in the case of the stray, not managed, in the community. A suggestion of stiffer penalties for attacks was made by the victims husband.
Loose dogs and strays are nothing new for Waterloo. Reports of loose dogs in the community, as well as attacks by loose dogs, can be found going several years back. The most commonly reported incidents are related to unsupervised dogs.
The Mayor has been quoted saying that the draft will be a “very restrictive ordinance for pit bulls.” At this time there is no clarification as to any aspects of the ordinance because it is in the discussion phase. There have been no statements made by officials to indicate which direction they may be leaning. The only details that have been discussed publicly are micro-chipping and a special registration.
The Mayor went out of his way to mention that there are some places that ban pit bulls. This seems to be a common tactic used to soften suggested restrictions. Another communities implementation of a ban does not lessen the amount of money that will be wasted in Waterloo with a breed discriminatory law. It does not lessen the fact that responsible owners are the only ones penalized by these laws, or that they inevitably end up failing in their primary objective, public safety. The lesser of two evils is still evil. Yes, some places ban pit bulls. However, more than 90% of municipalities in the US have no breed discriminatory restrictions at all.
The agenda for the work session is titled “Potential New Ordinance Pertaining to Pit Bulls.”
Residents and locals: It is important that you reach out now with effective alternatives to breed discriminatory laws. You can also use Best Friends Animal Society’s fiscal calculator to show how much an ordinance like this would cost the city and the tax payers. You can find this at http://bestfriends.guerrillaeconomics.net/
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