Two cities and two bans on Pit Bulls are major topics on Region 8's social media pages these days. The city of Caraway recently passed an ordinance banning the breed from the city. If owners don't find a new home for the dogs by June 5, they pay a fine ranging from $200 to $2,500 plus 90 days in the Craighead County Detention Center.
The city of Osceola has a 2006 law on the books banning Pit Bulls. This week, the city's animal shelter announced that they are now strictly enforcing the ban meaning they haven't been for the last 11 years. The Facebook page announced that as of July 1, 2017, anyone who owns or is in possession of a Pit Bull breed of dog will be in violation of the city ordinance and will be subject to punishment of a $500.00 fine for each violation.
That means there are families who have to get rid of their dogs. And if they can't "re-home" their dogs by the deadline, pit bull owners will pay stiff fines. What this ultimately means is that many dogs will eventually wind up euthanized.
I feel sorry for many of the owners who are losing a furry family member, and angered by the broad stroke these cities have taken against "this breed."
As a long-time Pit Bull owner myself, I can say that this whole thing comes down to owner responsibility. Too many pit bull owners haven't taken the right precautions to make sure their dogs are secured behind a fence or indoors.
It's the owners who we should look at – more than the breed.
I'm glad I don't live in one of these towns and that my Pit Bulls aren't under a ban... for now.
This subject seems to spark an opinion in everyone. No matter which side you take, your opinion counts and we want to hear it. Send your opinions on the matter to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll share some of your responses on both sides in a future editorial.
Responsible dog ownership, consistently enforcing the laws on the books and finding alternatives for people before they lose their dogs makes this a better Region 8.
- Chris Conroy, KAIT VP & General Manager
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