City council members in Grenada, Mississippi are considering strengthening the city’s pit bull ordinance. The current ordinance requires pit bull owners to register their dogs with the city. Council members are now discussing requiring a fee, having stricter codes or banning the breed entirely. According to one city council member, this comes as the result of some “minor pit bull attacks.”
The fact that officials feel the need to make the ordinance stronger is proof in itself that the law isn’t working. Its either not being enforced or, more likely, is simply being ignored by the irresponsible owners who don’t understand, or simply do not care about, their duty to their dogs and their neighbors to be responsible dog owners. Adding additional restrictions to a law that is already failing is a misguided proposition.
In the event Grenada decides to place an outright ban on a particular breed of dog from the city, those dog owners who should be and need to be targeted based on their actions and the actions of their dogs, will simply get a different breed of dog and continue to be just as irresponsible, while the law abiding, good dog owners are punished for the actions of the minority causing the problems.
The solution is fairly simply. Enact an ordinance that targets irresponsible dog owners and enforce it. Require all dog owners to register their dogs so when a problem occurs, you can go straight to the source of that problem. Provide education on responsible dog ownership practices. When a dog owner allows their dog to become a problem, fine them and continue to fine them until they straighten up and become responsible owners.
In the interest of creating a community that promotes the safety and welfare for all its members – people and animals – the first step must be targeting those who place that safety and welfare in jeopardy, and that should apply to any dog owner, regardless of the breed of dog they own.
Please reach out to the Grenada city officials and encourage them to pursue an ordinance that targets the cause of animal control issues – irresponsible pet owners. In doing so, they are taking steps that will ensure the safety of and benefit the entire community.