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Proposed Pit bull ban dismissed in Arkansas town

Dhicon_thumb By DogHeirs Team | July 15, 2012 | Comments (11)

No ban on pit bulls in West Fork Arkansas after a proposed ban was scratched

After much debate, pit bulls will not be banned in West Fork, Arkansas.

According to Mayor Frances Hime, a proposed ordinance which would have introduced Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) to the town, will no longer go forward after the city council voted against banning pit bulls, but instead proposes to introduce stiffer penalties to vicious animals and irresponsible owners.

The city was considering a ban of pit bulls after there were several incidents involving loose pit bulls chasing or attacking people in the past year. When originally proposed, Mayor Hime felt the city needed to take action. "They are running loose and we've had incidents in this city that alarmed us enough to look at this issue."

However, she put the blame firmly on irresponsible dog owners. "I don't want to punish the animal, but we have to get at the people somehow, and this is the way that we send the message," she said.

However, the proposed ban was met with skepticism and opposition by the representatives from a local humane society and concerned dog owners at a public town meeting held in May.

At the town hall discussion dog owner, Bob Sims said, "I'm not so sure that it's constitutional, I think it's more a matter of raising and enforcing laws that are probably preexisting."

Mayor Hime said she could see both sides of the issue, having owned a pit bull herself. "I understand the feelings completely, I've had a pit bull in the past, I had it for many years, they're sweet and loving, but there are people who aren't responsible."

After lengthy discussion and review, the council will now change current ordinances to not single out any particular breed, but instead have greater punishments for irresponsible dog owners.

In a statement Hine said: "The animal is always a victim when its owner fails to recognize it for what is and treat it in the manner it was born to, a sentient being with its own genetic and cultural history. Animals are not our children and they are not human, but they are definitely entitled to be treated humanely."

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View more articles in: Advocacy and Animal Welfare

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Comments on this Article

Maybe this Mayor should go lecture everyone else!!!!!!!! Great job!!!!!! Peggy Hull, I just saw your comment, yes my dog is my kid trust me she acts like one!!!! But I am just glad that someone is putting more responsibility on the owners and not the animals!!!!!!!!!
This will teach a lots of people in other states to appoint people with brains into power. I am glad I am in Arkansas and every city in Arkansas should apply this. God Bless you Mayor Frances Hime!
After a long time I heard about a good human. Good lessons to Belfast, Ireland and other countries of this world. She is the real model for smartness. Whilst all other retarted people decide wrong, this iron women did right. All animals and animal lovers blessings will go to her and we all wish her happiness forever for being such a wonderful person. She is really a blessed person with smartness. Big salute and a big hug to a wonderful lady. Arkansas with smart people! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaah
Thank you Mayor! Finally a government official with a head on their shoulders used for something besides a hat rack. I admire you for standing up to those without good common sense. God bless you!
Ditto a town with a brain and common sense! The Mayor did not crumble under pressure, way to go!!
I am so glad to see that this did not pass and I hope other places follow this great example. @Peggy, I agree that most owners think of their pets as family members. I certainly do and mine are soiled rotten :). However, I think in her statement she is just pointing out that in terms of the law, dogs are not considered family members (although they are to us) or humans. Although just because they are not those things in terms of the law, it does not mean they should be treated less humanely than a human or be profiled as a group. That was just my take on it and either way she is forcing owners to take responsibility for their decisions. For that I am grateful.
in my opinion pit bulls can and will be loyal with proper training. i had a razor edge pit i was told he didnt bark that he was a scardy cat that was true but the day i bought him home to meet my 6 month old daughter he ameditaly became protective she cry he came running if she saw some one petting him she would scream n he'd come to her side. if people could see that its not the breed its the owner then maybe they wouldnt be against the breed thanks for not banning pits theyre a wonderful breed.
So happy to hear that there is someone out there that realizes that "you are what you learn...Children and pets learn from example" ...there are many towns that have breed specific ordinances which is "profiling" and that is wrong but to restate what Laine said, Belfast, Australia...to seize these innocent animals...JUST WRONG...I have two pitbulls, one is the sweetest girl and so loving, attached to her daddy (my son) and the other, well, he is the baby of our family, and quite a playful boy, somewhat of a (pitt)bull in a china shop, will knock you over with happiness and tailwhips (ouch). We are more cautious with him because of his masculine size and playful demeanor but he is very loving. All I can say is anyone comes to my house and attempts to take any of my 5 dogs (have 3 shitza poos too) they are in for a fight, draw your guns cause the only way anyone will touch my dogs is if I am dead.
Attention Belfast, Ireland, and the entire country of Australia: The American state of Arkansas is kinder, more humane, and overall smarter than you!
A town with a brain, makes me want to consider moving there. Thank you and you are amazing people !
so glad to hear, but with on little disagreement, Hines said animals are not our children, I think any owner of any animal if they love them enough think of their pets as their children, my 2 cats and 1 dog are treated like family, I have no children of my own just my pets and they are my children
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