Pit bull rescuer says dangerous dog amendment could hurt operation

Published: Nov. 5, 2010 at 6:30 PM CDT|Updated: Dec. 5, 2010 at 2:18 PM CST
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By Tricia Forbes – bio | email

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - 74 percent of Madison County voters said yes to the dangerous dogs amendment. It allows the county commission to define what dangerous dogs are and requires their owners to keep them fenced in.

One pit bull rescuer said this amendment could mean big problems for her operation, while the mother of a pit bull attack victim celebrated its passing.

"My dogs are really sweet, really goofy, really fun. They are all perfect with people, perfect with other animals," explained pit bull rescuer Jessica Cabler.

She said people don't give the breed a chance and unfair attention is given to pit bulls that attack.

"We have instances where children wander into other peoples yards and get attacked by dogs on chains, and everyone says put down the pit bull," said Cabler. "No one says 'why were the children out wandering through other people's yards?' or 'why is the pit bull being kept on a chain?'"

But Donna Roberts said she thinks that's right where pit bulls belong.

"They hurt people, they destroy property. Most people that keep them, they have to keep them chained up or fenced up. Why? because they attack," she said.

Roberts' two-year-old son Jace was almost killed by a family member's dog. He had the last of three surgeries Friday morning to repair his damaged tear ducts. Roberts worked to get the word out about the dangerous dogs amendment before the election. When she found out it passed, she was thrilled.

"I cried actually, I was so excited," she remembered.

Roberts said pit bulls are one of a handful of breeds that should be specifically listed as dangerous.

"I talk to doctors and their staff and they say every time there's a bite, it's a pit bull bite or it's a Rottweiler bite. It's an attack from a big aggressive dog," Roberts said. "If you have to lock your animal up in order for it not to attack someone, there's a problem there."

Cabler said pit bulls aren't aggressive by nature and that parents should take responsibility for keeping their kids safe. She's afraid the amendment will snowball into a ban against pit bulls.

"Banning an entire breed of dog isn't going to stop dog attacks. It isn't going to stop dog fighting, it isn't going to address anything. Breed bans really are just costly for cities," Cabler said.

She said a ban would force her to close her rescue operation, something that Roberts thinks might not be such a bad thing.

"They're putting animals before humans. That's ridiculous." said Roberts.

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