Here's an interesting "interview" that I thought I would pass on...what are your thoughts on this controversial topic? Comments welcome! –Kim
Interview with a Pit Bull
By Mike Danahey
December 29, 2010
Second, thanks to the likes of Michael Vick, street gangs, drug dealers and gangster rappers, some of my brothers and sisters became a symbol of thuggery and toughness and were raised specifically to fight.
Folks forget that back in the day, my family hawked kids' shoes and hung out with those "Little Rascals." Now we're the ones TV has taught you to love to hate. We're the go-to dogs to fill time on newscasts and to scare folks.
Anyway, here in Elgin, you've had a number of wannabe tough guys walking about with my kind at their sides, trying to intimidate people. Imagine how some of them raise their dogs. Nature versus nurture. Remember that debate from school? Which is to say, there has been trouble.
After all the impassioned speeches from the audience, Councilman John Prigge, the most vocal proponent of a full-out pit bull ban, read from a prepared statement saying he was now ready to compromise.
While still feeling pit bulls – however you define my type – are dangerous, Prigge was willing to give owners of such dogs a chance to show "they are every bit as responsible as they've assured us they are." Prigge promised that he would be vigilant and that if there was another "pit bull attack in this city or if circumstances otherwise warrant, I will request we revisit this issue and suggest we implement all of the proposed pit bull regulations to prevent any further attacks."
It was very dramatic, like he was buddies with Batman or had watched "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." Hey, my owner has Netflix, too.
The city put its new laws into effect in June. The revamped ordinance allows an animal control officer to designate a dog as either dangerous or vicious in the case of an attack of either another dog or a human. It defines a dangerous dog as one that attacks and injures, and a vicious dog is one that attacks and causes severe injuries or death. A dog deemed dangerous or vicious has to register with the city for a three-year, $100 license. Such animals have to wear registration and rabies shot tags, and the owner must have proof such pets have been neutered or spayed, and microchipped.
Vicious and dangerous dogs also must be kept locked when outside, in fencing at least 6 feet tall. Owners need to secure a minimum $100,000 liability insurance if they have a dog deemed dangerous, and owners of vicious dogs need at least $500,000 in liability insurance. Dangerous dogs on public property must be muzzled and on a short leash and with an adult, while vicious dogs are not allowed on public property.
The new rules also help better protect pets from bad owners, with stiffer penalties given for mistreating an animal and for leaving a pet to bark outside and annoy neighbors.
With higher fines in place, this fall the city council even approved allowing people to work off doggie-related debts with community service. And in late November, Prigge spearheaded an event at the Hemmens Cultural Center where residents could get shots and microchips for their dogs and cats at just $35 a pet. Speaking of cats, why is it OK for dopey people to let them run wild to eat birds, but we get the bad rap? And by bad rap, I mean "Who Let the Dogs Out?"
Now, where's that steak bone you promised? And I need my belly scratched.
Source: The Courier News
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