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Wednesday, Sep. 17, 2014

Stronger animal laws needed?

Posted Thursday, October 18, 2007, at 11:03 AM

Pit bulldogs attacked a cat walking with its owner on a Shelbyville street last week.

The owner told police that one of the pit bulls ran up, grabbed the cat and ran away with it.

Police arrived to find the dogs sitting calmly in their owner’s yard. One had the cat in its mouth.

A citation was issued to the dogs’ owner. That’s all. Just a citation.

Stronger laws need to be on the books for this and similar situations. If the pit bulls have no previous history of attacks, the owner should be forced to keep them penned or tied to enough of an extent that they can't leave his own property. If they have attacked on previous occasions, perhaps euthanasia is in order.

I realize there are laws on the books concerning nusiance animals. But the safety of pets and people continues to be threatened. I hear police scanner traffic several times a year about people being pinned in their homes or cars by dogs.

Maybe those laws need to be stronger.

For the record, I’m very pro-dog. Only the dangerous ones need to be taken off the streets.


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I am also pro dog or better yet pro animal. I don't care what anyone owns, but that person should be able to keep their animal under control, so as not to harm anyone or any other animal.

Those animals that do harm others should be euthanized and the owners responsible for those animals should have to pay damages to the person injured/killed or for their pets injuries or death. Furthermore until those damages are paid the offending pet owner should not be allowed to own pets.

William

-- Posted by HorseGentler on Thu, Oct 18, 2007, at 11:51 AM

I am VERY pro-animal as well. While we may need stronger laws for dangerous animals, they are useless unless we have the manpower to enforce them. I know that Shelbyville-Animal Control enforces the city laws, and Bedford County Animal Control enforces the county laws. Both of those agencies operate with minimal personel (I think the city operates with only 2 employees, and the county with 3.) Maybe we should approach the city/county lawmakers to increase their budgets, so the laws enacted could be properly enforced.

-- Posted by cherylrichardson on Thu, Oct 18, 2007, at 12:12 PM

I'm pro animal, as stated before me. But, instead of making new, breed specific laws, the laws that are already in place should be enforced, or even ammended.

For humans, there is the seatbelt law "for your own safety". Shelbyville should inforce the leash law already in effect for the animals' safety. It saddens me to see someone's beloved pet lying on the side of the road.

And a "dangerous breed" law wouldn't necessarily be effective. I once saw a 3 year old get attacked by a miniature schnauzer. A "vicious" breed? Hardly. So, how could we be prejudiced towards the pit bulls, dobermans, and German Shepards, when they are not the only breeds who can hurt anyone?

-- Posted by craftin_mom on Fri, Oct 19, 2007, at 6:08 AM

I love animals. I love dogs and cats and birds and even insects. I have been attacked by a dog, my own dog. He didn't mean to, I walked in front of him and he was already lunging at the dog from down the road. Once he realized it was me he went and hid, but the damage was done. I was three, he ripped my eye completely out of socket. To classify the breed of dog he was would be difficult as he was a variety! That was what you call a tragic accident.

Another scenario; at one point in time myself and my exhusband raised American Bull Dogs! Some of the nicest dogs on the planet, just so some of you know they are way bigger than pitbulls with much more strength and were orignally bred to fight bears. We owned 7 of these dogs, 4 males, 3 females. We kept them all pinned seperately with an electric fence. We also had a blue heeler at the time.

While we were gone to WalMart one afternoon the power had gone out to the fence apparently our biggest male bulldog had noticed this. He got loose, the other three males and one of the females also got loose. They killed my blue heeler. According to the next door neighbor, my blue heeler "Jake" was still in his pin and the 4 males went into his pin and attacked him. Why? Who knows? Who cares? They killed my dog! Maybe it was the pack mentality? Again, who cares why? It could have been my next door neighbor or someone walking down the road, or Heaven forbid my child! They had to go! Maybe the laws for these dogs should be in effect. I know there are tons out there that "wouldn't hurt a fly". Or at least that is the theory of the owners...have they ever tested that out?

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Fri, Oct 19, 2007, at 9:30 AM

Your statement that dogs who have no history of attacks should be kept penned or tied is absolutely REDICULOUS!

A constantly chained/penned dog is almost 3 times more likely to bite/attack than dogs who are kept inside and socialized as part of their "pack".

visit www.dogsdeservebetter.org or www.mothersagainstdogchaining.com for more info.

-- Posted by nochaineddogs on Fri, Oct 19, 2007, at 9:52 AM

I agree that vicious dogs pose serious dangers. I do agree with the above comment, however, that it would be irresponsible to suggest that dogs be constantly chained for caged. It should come as no surprise that perpetual confinement often creates neurotic, aggressive, half-insane animals.

Wouldn't YOU want to bite if you were kept chained by the neck 24/7, exposed to skull-cracking cold, baking heat, constant flies and fleas, unable to get to your water because your bowl is overturned, years spent pacing the same patch of dirt and feces? Even if you think "it is just a dog," such a life is still horrific.

No, constant chaining isn't the answer. Indeed, states and cities all over the country are passing laws against 24/7 chaining because the practice is barbaric and creates dangerous animals.

These issues are never easy. No one is for dogs running loose. But one thing is sure: dangerous dogs are usually "created" by their owners, who are often non-compassionate people who get some vicarious thrill from turning their pet into a macho killing machine. That's the root of the problem, and that's where we should start addressing the problem - not by causing more suffering more more dogs.

thanks!

Monica

-- Posted by monicas on Fri, Oct 19, 2007, at 10:00 AM

I am fed up with packs of dogs in my neighborhood knocking over my trash cans every day. Those that own the dogs should be out there picking up the trash, not me. And the constant barking! It is more of a disturbance than thugs with their car stereos. I don't own a dog because I don't want to hear it bark all the time. Why should I have to hear yours! If you live in an area where you are required to chain your outside dog, then you have no business owning an outside dog. Dogs deserve to run free so please fence them in your backyard or get rid of them. And if I ever witnessed a neighbor's dog attack and kill a cat, goat, etc... it wouldn't be hanging around my neighborhood too much longer.

-- Posted by nathan.evans on Fri, Oct 19, 2007, at 10:29 AM

Just to clarify, I meant that dogs with no previous history of attacks should be chained or tied only AFTER an initial attack. No history of attacks, no chains or pens, etc.

-- Posted by David Melson on Fri, Oct 19, 2007, at 10:57 AM

Dogs simply should not be running free left to their own devices. Pets should be confined to their own property in a yard with a fence.

Before you start asking for more dog laws you should first be sure that there are Leash and Confinement Laws and that they are being enforced.

What you don't realize is the unintended consequences of even carefully written animal control laws.

I realize that everyone wants to "keep up with the Joneses.." and that many communities are jumping on the bandwagon passing new laws. But, I'd like to remind you of some good old common sense... my mom use to say to me... "So, if everyone jumped off a cliff would you jump off too?..."

It's much wiser to strengthen and enforce the confinement and leash laws than it is to undo the harmful consequences to responsible, loving families that own dogs and who would be hurt by these horrible, unnecessary laws.

Dogs have been chasing cats (and rabbits and squirrels and game birds) for hundreds of years. Dogs chasing cats was once the subject of cartoons in our country... not too long ago.

Personally, I don't believe that any animal should be running loose. Cats that run loose are always going to be at risk of harm from dogs, raccoons and other wild animals, people and cars...

If a dog is running loose .... deal with the fact that that particular dog was off his property. The fact that dogs chase cats or get into garbage cans when left to their own devices

is the fault of someone much larger than you and I...and, I'm NOT thinking about a court of law!

-- Posted by pet lover on Thu, Oct 25, 2007, at 10:13 PM

One final comment...

I just re-read the original post and I have to question the story of the people "walking with their cat"...

Not that it isn't true or couldn't be the way it happened... BUT, it is RARE that people are seen "walking with their cats". I've once or twice seen a cat on a leash... but, I don't know about this story ???

hmmmm...

-- Posted by pet lover on Thu, Oct 25, 2007, at 10:28 PM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.