We were all very sad and shocked to learn that a nearby city in SE Minnesota (where we live) is planning on enacting BSL: Breed Specific Legislation. In spite of the fact that it is illegal according to Minnesota state law, the city council of Caledonia, MN is planning on voting this Monday night (June 11) to ban "pitbulls and half-breeds" from the city limits.
According to the Caledonia Argus:
Council looking to ban any new pit bulls within the city limits
While we feel very badly for the poor lady who was hurt and lost her beloved pet Min-Pin, to hold an entire breed and even mixed breeds that MIGHT, possibly contain some pit bull responsible is not an effective way to deal with the issue of loose and or viscous dogs. What good will it benefit the citizens of Caledonia to keep friendly, gentle pit bulls that are family pets out of their city but ignore the fact that it takes responsible owners and enforcement of current rules regarding dogs running lose and 'dangerous' dogs to keep the community safe. NOT the banning of one particular breed! There are LOTS of wonderful, sweet, loving pit bulls out there, that would no sooner bite than fly ~ just as there are lots of poodles, collies, cocker spanials, labs, etc., etc., etc., that could attack if not raised, trained, handled and supervised correctly! By Charlie Warner
Spurred on by an attack of a pit bull that resulted in the death of another dog and injuries to its owner, the Caledonia City Council spent considerable time discussing the creation of a dangerous and vicious animal ordinance last week.
According to Caledonia Police Chief Kurt Zehnder, Helen Olson was walking her miniature pinscher along the 800 block of East Grove Street on May 8 around 1 p.m. when a pit bull attacked the small dog, mauled it and ultimately killed it. Olson sustained injuries to her hand as she attempted to pull the pit bull from her dog. Her injuries required medical attention.
The pit bull was taken into custody by City Animal Control Officer Mike Gavin and observed for 10 days. The dog had all its shots. But it was discovered the dog had a micro chip identifying the animal as a potentially dangerous dog. The micro chip was placed in the dog, per state statute, following an attack that occurred when the dog was not living in Caledonia.
The dog has been put down.
“We need to put our foot down on this issue,” Zehnder told the council. “I was there. I saw what happened. It was horrendous. What happened to that small dog made me sick. We were so fortunate that a child wasn’t involved. We could have had a fatality.”
Gavin told the council that the only breed of dog he has had issues with are pit bulls and half-breed pit bulls.
“I believe the background and the breeding of this type of dog makes them quite vicious. This is one breed of dog I really don’t think we want in our community,” Gavin said. “What happened on Grove Street is indescribable.”
Zehnder said there are other cities that do not allow pit bulls. He cited Minneapolis as one major municipality that has zero tolerance for pit bulls. He added that pit bulls are illegal in the state of Colorado.
“People have had many bad experiences with pit bulls,” Zehnder said. “That’s why they have zero tolerances in many places.”
City Clerk/Administrator Jennifer Feely said City Attorney Tim Murphy recommended that a separate ordinance dealing with vicious dogs be prepared and approved by the council.
It was pointed out that pit bulls currently in Caledonia will be grandfathered in. But, like all dogs, they must be licensed, which will help Gavin and the local police department keep better track of them. But no new pit bulls or half-breeds will be allowed within the city limits.
The topic will be revisited at the June 11 council meeting and the new ordinance possibly approved.
Why is it that humans don't write newspaper headlines when a poodle or pug bites someone? My Mom knows someone who saw a Golden Retriever attack a beagle and seriously injure it. Fortunately, the Golden's owner was able to pull his dog (who was on a leash!) away from the beagle before it was killed. Of course, there was no write up in the local newspaper about that. Should Golden Retrievers be banned?
I don't understand why cities don't just make the PEOPLE who have dogs take good care of them. Dogs need to be trained, loved, properly housed, socialized and supervised. If the city council passed a law saying THAT, there really would be a lot less unfortunate incidents. If the dog in Caledonia had been shut in a fenced in yard, that lady's Min-pin would be alive today. In fact, the dog that attacked had already been deemed "dangerous" due to a previous incident! And it was running LOOSE? Where was it's owner? Had the dog received any professional training to rehabilitate it after it's first offense? I doubt it.
But it's not the owner of the pit bull who was "put down". It was the dog. And maybe that was the right thing to do. But it's too bad that the pit bull really didn't have a chance since it didn't have a responsible owner to prevent something like the tragic attack on an innocent dog and it's master, from happening in the first place. I wonder what happened in the life of that pit bull that prompted it to be so aggressive. In spite of what some people may say, most pit bulls were NOT bred to be aggressive. They were bred to be loyal, devoted family dogs and were in fact often called "America's Nanny Dog", because they are so good with children! Please read the article that link goes to. It tells the TRUTH about the history behind Pit Bulls in America.
The dog did not attack because it was a pit bull.
It attacked because it was untrained and unsupervised!
Please don't blame a whole breed (in fact a whole BUNCH of breeds ~ there is no ONE breed that is designated as a Pit Bull! Many breeds can and are often referred to as "Pits") for the actions of others that were not properly trained or supervised.
EDUCATION is the key to preventing tragedies like what happened to that little Min-pin from happening. EDUCATION is the key to preventing dog bites in general. ANY breed of dog can and will bite. Let's make something good come out of this tragic situation. We can't bring that precious Min Pin back but maybe, just maybe, with proper enforcement of existing laws regarding housing and confinement of ALL breeds of dogs, and the proper supervision and LEASH LAWS for ALL breeds of dogs and the proper follow up training and monitoring of ANY dog (and it's owner!) that bites, Caledonia can be a safer place to live for both it's human and canine residents.
* BSL does NOT work.
* It is expensive and IMPOSSIBLE to enforce.
How many innocent dogs will die because the Caledonia Animal Control Officer doesn't like Pit Bulls? He is the person who told the City Council: “I believe the background and the breeding of this type of dog makes them quite vicious. This is one breed of dog I really don’t think we want in our community"
Dogs are not BORN viscous.
PEOPLE make dogs viscous!
Enforce the laws that are already in place.
Create harsher penelties for those involved in dog-fighting and dog abuse.
Maybe THEN, we'll all have a safer place to live...