Councilman John Arnold is drafting an ordinance that would require “pit bulls” to have special permits in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana. According to Arnold, the regulations involve pit bull owners “agreeing to nurture their dog in a responsible manner” and to obtain a permit.
The proposal, which is still being drafted, would allow parish officials to inspect the living conditions of the dogs from time to time, and if someone is caught keeping such a dog without permission, they would first be fined, and on the second offense the dog would be confiscated.
The proposed regulations are in response to an attack last week in Terrebonne Parish in which a child was killed by a dog police originally identified as a “pit bull,” but is now believed to be a mixed breed dog. It should be noted that officials in Terrebonne Parish have advised they are not considering altering their current ordinance which they feel is strong enough and could not have prevented an attack which occurred inside the home where the child lived.
In support of his proposal, Councilman Arnold states that he believes there are “hundreds” of attacks by pit bulls each day throughout the country. He says pit bulls are bred to be vicious and have an instinct to kill, but that the fault sits with their owners, who raise them in conditions that fosters aggressiveness.
Arnold went on to advise that these “bad dogs” can be found in the “bad neighborhoods” of the Parish, where they are chained to trees and not taken care of, yet went on to say that keeping a pit bull in an apartment is not the condition in which they should be living either.
Arnold acknowledges that the push to enact breed specific legislation will not be popular with some, and he is open to suggestions from all about how the final ordinance should work.
Please send your polite and respectful opposition to breed specific legislation to the Lafourche Parish officials listed below. Please also provide officials with viable alternatives and suggestions for their consideration that actually target the problems in the Parish, such as regulating the manner in which dogs can be tethered, increased enforcement efforts in the areas Arnold characterized as “bad neighborhoods” where the problems are occurring, and educational programs that would teach responsible ownership practices in the community that will benefit both people and animals. You may also want to send them the NAIA publication, “A Guide to Constructing Successful, Pet Friendly ordinances.” which has some excellent points that would help lay the groundwork for an ordinance that will address the problems in the Parish.
Specific talking points and alternatives to breed specific legislation can be found here.
The ordinance is tentatively set to be introduced at the Parish council meeting on April 22, 2014. Meetings begin at 5:00 p.m. and are held Mathews Government Complex, in Mathews, Louisiana
Lafourche Parish Council
P.O. Drawer 5548
Thibodaux, Louisiana 70302
Phone: (985) 446-8427
(800) 834-8832 Ext. 244
Council District 1
Council District 2
Council District 3
Council District 4
Joe Fertitta, Chairman
Council District 5
Council District 6
Council District 7
L. Phillip Gouaux, II
Council District 8
Council District 9