Saturday, February 7, 2009

Weigh in: The Wichita City Council considers a new dog ordinance that may ban some breeds

The Wichita City Council is currently considering an ordinance that would either ban or restrict ownership of Pit Bull Terriers within city limits. This proposal is in response to dozens, if not hundreds, of calls and complaints from residents (primarily in Districts 1 and 3) who have been dealing with the issues of loose and sometimes vicious dogs.

Being an animal lover and the owner of a very silly Pit Bull terrier mix named Bob Sherman, I have mixed feeling about the issue. I know that Pit Bull are not 'vicious dogs' by nature and that the real culprits are the owners who exploit the dogs power and fearlessness by turning them into monsters. But at the same time, I have seen Pit Bulls just walking the streets of the Northeast. Children have been bitten and attacked. And the numbers of Pit Bulls, bred and raised to fight and attack are sharply on the rise.

The City's Department of Environmental Services recently released these statistics for 2008:
  • 55% of all dogs deemed dangerous were Pit Bulls
  • 34% of all attacks and bites involved Pit Bulls
  • 28% of all dogs found running at large were Pit Bulls
  • 25% of dogs impounded were Pit Bulls
  • 37% of all dogs euthanized were Pit Bulls
  • 23% of all dog complaints involved Pit Bulls
The Wichita Police Department released these Statistics:
  • in 2004 - 66% of all dogs encountered by WPD were Pit Bulls
  • in 2005 - 80% of all dogs encountered by WPD were Pit Bulls
  • in 2006 - 74% of all dogs encountered by WPD were Pit Bulls
  • in 2007 - 87% of all dogs encountered by WPD were Pit Bulls
  • in 2008 - 95% of all dogs encountered by WPD were Pit Bulls
The current proposals before the City Council would do one of three things...
  1. Ban ownership of Pit Bull Terriers within the city limits
  2. Require that all owners of Pit Bull Terriers have their dogs spayed or neutered, and micro-chipped. This option would also impose a limit of two (2) spayed and/or neutered Pit Bulls per household, unless the owners received a breeders license.
  3. Impose no further restrictions...
    Here is your opportunity to weigh in on the matter. Tell us what YOU think... All comments collected on this issue will be compiled and shared with the members of the Wichita City Council.  Post your comments, and share your thoughts...

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