At Monday night’s work session for the Beatrice City Council, council member Jason Moore brought up safety issues concerning pit bulls within the city.
Moore suggested that in the future the council impose a citywide ban on any dog that is part pit bull.
“When they bite, they don’t let go and they shake,” Moore said. “They don’t bite to break skin, they remove flesh. I believe them to be quite dangerous.”
According to statistics Moore presented at the meeting, of 88 fatal dog attacks that have happened since 2003, 59 percent of them were pit bull attacks.
While pit bulls make up one percent of the total number of dogs in the United States, they also make up the largest percentage of all fatalities by dogs, according to Moore.
Moore’s plan would allow all pit bulls currently in Beatrice to live out their days, but owners would be required to get liability insurance and muzzle their pet when off the owner’s property.
“I understand it’s not going to take care of the dogs that are here right now,” Moore said. “But, what we have to do is look at possibly limiting the number of encounters between children and pit bulls in the future.”
Moore’s suggestions were met with skepticism from council member Al Fetty, who made the point that determining if a dog has any pit bull in them is no simple task.
“The only way they can actually determine that is through a DNA test,” Fetty said. “They’re not cheap, and they take quite a while.”
Citizens attending the meeting brought up the issue that not all dog attacks have been by pit bulls.
Moore plans to write an amendment to the current ordinance which he said he’ll bring forward at a future city council meeting.
He pointed out that the city of Toledo, Ohio, took its case of banning pit bulls to the Supreme Court and won.
“I’m asking you guys to prevent the exposure to our kids,” Moore said. “That’s all I’m doing here; I’m asking you to take a look at something that could prevent that one incident.”
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