Home / Fall 2016 / Owners accountable for dogs’ actions

Owners accountable for dogs’ actions

Photo Credit: Pixel

Written by Tianna Foster, Staff Writer

Dogs that are allowed by their owners to run loose or dogs that attack people or other animals have become a big issue for the people and the communities in which they live in.

There has been a law created in an attempt to ban certain breeds of dogs. According to ASPCA a BSL, breed-specific legislation, was created to regulate or ban certain dog breeds in an effort to decrease dog attacks on humans and other animals.

The most common regulated breed is Pit Bulls. American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers and English Bull Terriers all belong to the pit bull family. But it doesn’t end here. American Bulldogs, Rottweilers and German Shepherds are also regulated breeds in some areas.

According to ASPCA more than 700 cities have accepted and enforced the breed-specific law. The law prevents any future ownership and reproduction of specific dog breeds. The law was made to reduce the number of pit bulls and any other breed who is considered a dangerous threat to the community.

The BSL allows existing pit bulls to remain with their owners but are required to sterilize their dog. In some cities, failing to sterilize a potentially dangerous dog can result in a fine of $500.

Valdosta currently has no dog ban but the town can still regulate vicious dog laws. They are not allowed to single out a specific breed of dog. Although the city has no dog bans they enforce a strict pet ordinance. The city limits the number of domestic pets to three per household. The ordinance was put in place to help residents feel more comfortable in their neighborhoods. The ordinance also allows residents to chain their dogs outside but the cable has to be at least 15 feet in length and must allow animals to move freely and lie down.

While some people approve of the dog ban, some owners feel differently and think that the owner plays a huge role in the behavior of his or her animal.

“A dog’s behavior is a representation based on how they are raised,” Claire Reddings, a junior marketing major, said. “Some dogs have more aggressive traits than others but those are more so for guard dogs or police dogs but that doesn’t mean they can’t be a family oriented pet,” she said.

Claire owns a black Labrador retriever.

“I feel a dog’s behavior reflects that of their owner and how they were raised as a puppy, not solely on the breed,” Ashley Casey, a junior business management major, said. “I just think choosing to ban a specific breed based on a few bad apples in the bunch is discriminatory against dogs.”

Ashley owns a Shih Tzu poodle mix.

The ban has yet to show a successful outcome against the banning of certain type of breeds.

The ASPCA continues to look for an effective enforcement by holding the dog owners accountable for the actions of their animals.

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