Earlier we reported that a councilman in Westwego was seeking to make it more difficult for people to own certain types of dogs following a severe attack on one of his constituents and friend. The changes to the law are officially up for consideration by the entire council.
The restrictions include insurance requirements, a minimum age of 21 years for any owner of a targeted dog, stiff confinement regulations inside and outside the home, warning signs, spay/neuter and microchipping.
Interestingly, officials are addressing the specific idea of mix breeds. These restrictions would apply to pure breed dogs by default. In the case of mixed breed dogs they must be DNA tested in order to determine if they would fall under the regulations. Dogs over 50% “pit bull” would have to comply. The Mayor supports these changes as well as the DNA testing.
Some immediate issues that stand out. There is no mention yet of who would be responsible for the cost of testing. There is also no mention of how the costs of enforcing these restrictions would be absorbed by the community. Increasingly problematic is how officials intend to police how people are confining their dogs in their own homes.
Officials have said that they will wait until the new council members are seated in office, and that they will hold public hearings on the matter.
Residents and locals: Please continue to reach out to officials to urge them to institute breed neutral alternatives. Be polite, be respectful and offer solutions. A list of alternatives can be found here.
Mayor John Shaddinger, Jr.
Council Member Glenn Green
Council Member Melvin Guidry
Council Member Ted Munch
Council Member Ivy Rogers
Council Member Larry Warino