In September 2012, a woman in Airdrie, AB, Canada launched a petition asking City council to create a bylaw that would require “pit bulls” to wear a muzzle in all off-leash parks and pathways. While the petition wasn’t successful, she hasn’t ended her fight to muzzle pit bulls in Airdrie. In light of recent dog attacks in Calgary, Allison Prentice is now hoping to rally public support and engage in conversation in a different way. This week, she is getting posters printed asking people who are in support of muzzling pit bulls to contact her. In the coming weeks, she hopes to speak at a council meeting where she and other residents can discuss the issue.
The Airdrie manager of municipal enforcement advises that the city intended to work on a new dog control bylaw that would include a clause for violent dogs last September. However, those plans are currently on hold because the city doesn’t have the manpower to draw up the bylaw and present it to council. He acknowledges that in presenting a bylaw to the council, the city needs to do the proper research and host open houses for public input, and that any update would give officers more tools to deal with violent or aggressive dogs more efficiently.
Ms. Prentice, the resident behind the push for muzzling, claims she is not biased against any breed of dog, but that she wants to see more teeth in the animal control bylaw. While we certainly have no opposition to strengthening dog laws that target reckless and irresponsible dog owners in an effort to create a safer community, we do object to the targeting of any specific breed of dog as these laws have proven to be ineffective and actually create a community that is more vulnerable to dangerous dogs, not less.
The Airdrie City View currently has a poll posted asking if pit bulls should be muzzled in Airdrie. While the “no” votes have an impressive lead, its important that you still vote.
Residents of Airdrie, Canada should keep an eye on upcoming city council agendas in order to follow if and/or when Ms. Prentice will make a presentation to the council.