Oklahoma legislator wants pit bull law

Oklahoma House Representative Paul Wesselhoft has been attempting to get a breed specific bill passed in Oklahoma for as long as I’ve been monitoring BSL, and he’s at it again.

As the result of a recent fatal mauling, Representative Wesselhoft says he plans to draft new legislation within the next few months that would target “pit bulls.” According to the article, he does not want to ban pit bulls. Instead, he’s looking into increasing penalties against dog owners if their pet bites someone.

Even though all of Rep. Wesselhoft’s previous proposals have met stark opposition from the public, as well as fellow legislators, Oklahoma residents need to keep a close eye on this. Please reach out to your respective House representatives now to let them know you do not support breed specific legislation. To find your representative, go to: http://www.okhouse.gov/FindMyLegislature.aspx?State=OK.

The House deadline to file bill draft requests is December 14, 2012. The deadline for filing legislation is January 17, 2013.

Representative Wants Pit Bull Law

After this week’s deadly dog attack in the metro, a legislator wants to make a law that impose tougher punishments for pit bull owners. However, he thinks it may take another death to get other lawmakers on board.

“It’s a flawed animal,” said Representative Paul Wesselhoft. “Frankly, I believe it belongs in a zoo.”

Representative Paul Wesselhoft once authored a bill to create tougher punishments for pit bull attacks. However, his bill did not get a lot of support.

“We were inundated with emails from all over the United States,” said Representative Wesselhoft.

Representative Wesselhoft says he got the idea to author the bill after meeting a victim of a pit bull attack.

“I know the advocates will say it’s in their nurture and not their nature, but it’s both,” said Representative Wesselhoft.

Rod Goodhue of Pit Bull Rescue Oklahoma says pit bulls are not bred to be aggressive towards humans.

“We can’t just blame the breed and have a knee jerk reaction and want to euthanize or ban a breed,” said Goodhue.

We showed Representative Wesselhoft the story Fox 25 aired about a pit bull attack victim who shared his story after hearing about the deadly dog attack that killed Nellie Davis.

“If you’ve ever been attacked by a pit bull, those memories are still there,” said Cecil Elliott.

Cecil Elliott thinks there should be a law that would impose tougher punishments on pit bull owners if their dogs run loose.

“I think that you have a right to own a pit bull dog, I’m not saying that you don’t, but the dog has a propensity to be more aggressive by nature,” said Elliott.

After watching the story, Representative Wesselhoft was re-inspired to draft legislation. However, he’s not optimistic it will pass.

“It’s pretty tragic that we have to wait until people are killed,” said Representative Wesselhoft. “Maybe it will take another couple of deaths. Maybe another child has to lose their life. It’s unfortunate but sometimes legislation is driven by tragedy.”

Representative Wesselhoft says he plans to draft new legislation within the next few months. He does not want to ban pit bulls. Instead, he’s looking into increasing penalties against dog owners if their pet bites someone.

MARISA MENDELSON
FOX 25 NEWS

http://www.okcfox.com/newsroom/top_stories/videos/kokh_vid_7225.shtml

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