Yesterday the Times-Picayune ran a story about a Louisiana Parish that has implemented one of the most idiotic pit bull bans I've ever seen--and since I think all breed bans are idiotic, ineffective, lazy ways of avoiding the real issue, saying this is the worst of them is saying a lot. The story is here. My response:
It is interesting to note that the authors of the Plaquemines pit bull
legislation refuse to talk to the press. I'd be embarrassed too. Their
new laws are a perfect example of the kind of loophole filled rhetoric
that clogs our legal system. Rather than addressing responsible animal
care directly by enforcing laws regarding the breeding and care of all
dogs, the parish will spend its resources driving illegal activities
with pit bulls and other dogs underground. They've even worded the
regulations in such a way that pit bull breeders may be able to
continue doing business as long as they transport the puppies over the
Yes, pit bulls can be vicious. So can beagles--I was mauled by one.
Even Pomeranians are capable of killing children, as was tragically
reported a few years ago in California. The problem is not the breed,
but the owner's irresponsibility and law enforcement's reluctance to
charge humans with crimes against animals. Until we are able to deal
directly with the human behavior that guides these dogs, the problems
will continue, whether with pit bulls or another substitute "brand."
But it does no good to perpetuate the myth of the pit bull's jaw
strength--there is, in fact, no known test of dog's jaws. Nor does it
make sense to ban a breed rather than address the problem. If that
kind of thinking made sense, we would ban marriage as a cure for
divorce, and outlaw children as a way of protecting them from abusive
parents. Perhaps we're not that far off.
It is also interesting to note that in New York City, with close to
one million dogs, many of them pit bulls, cases of dogs attacking
people are virtually unheard of. Why? Perhaps because the close
quarters there inspire dog owners to be more responsible--as we all
should be, even in Louisiana.