Fences could be the answer for breed bans, what do you think?

Posted By elaine on May 25, 2010

Good fences make good neighbors, and good pets. That’s the city of Garland Texas’  thinking with a new requirement for pit bull owners.  Starting Aug. 10, pit bull owners must have a sturdy fence that is at least six feet high when measured from the ground.

The rules state the following:

* The fence must be made of wooden planks at least a half inch thick or metal chain link with a minimum 11 gauge.

* Gaps must be smaller than two inches.

* Fencing must be secured to posts that are buried at least 18 inches

Dorothy White, the city spokeswoman for Garland, said the rule applies to pit bulls as well as dogs that are part pit bull.

White said they are singling out the breed because of simple numbers.

“Of the dogs that we ticket or pick up that are running loose, 27 percent of them are pit bulls. And that’s 27 percent of the problem,” White said. She also noted that pit bulls make up most of the dog bite cases in the city.

Pit bull owners who couldn’t go on camera told NBC DFW they don’t like the idea of rules that are “breed specific.”

Pit bull owners that register their dog with the city before Aug. 1 won’t have to get a six foot fence. White said registering the dog also makes it easier to return the lost animal to it’s owner if found. But, people planning to get a pit bull after Aug. 1 will have to follow the new regulation.

“Those fencing requirements go into effect and you must consider that a cost of owning the dog,” White said.

In the past, the City of Garland did not adopt out pit bulls. If an owner didn’t come to claim the dog at the pound, it was eventually euthanized. But the city plans to start adopting out certain pit bulls.

“A dog that is an appropriate dog for being adopted, no matter the breed, can be adopted out,” White said.

My opinion;  I think that if you have a powerful dog that could hurt other animals or worse, people, you should be expected to have sturdy fences.    I have 100+ pound Bernese Mountain  Dogs that I know would kill the neighbors sheep and chickens.  I keep them in welded wire kennels when they are unattended outside.  Most of the time they are inside or on leashes when being walked.  If this is the alternative to breed bans I say large dog owners should stop with the descrimination talk and say, “We’ll take it.”    I am not a fan of nanny laws that take away our freedoms, and I think that I would probably only require this if someone has been cited for a loose dog or adopts one from a the city pound, but it is soooo much better than a general breed ban,  and it shows that a government body is actually making a balanced decision that is allowing perfectly nice dogs to find homes instead of just killing them because of a reputation. 

Like or not pitbulls have are strong dogs that can do a lot of damage. I think they can be wonderful dogs, but they are very different from a Pomeranian or a Whippet, and owners need to be realistic about the animals they own.   I think the lack of a true understanding and irresponsible owners of these pitbull type breeds has caused many issues for these dogs and the responsible people that choose to love them.  I think most responsible owners probably already have fences that are being required. 

This is information from the Pit Bull Rescue Central (PBRC) the country’s largest “virtual” Pit Bull rescue: 

“Pit Bulls are strong, energetic, agile and powerful dogs.  They are also very resourceful and driven.  “Determination” is one of their most notable traits.  Whatever they set out to do, they will put their heart and soul into it.  Whether it’s escaping out of an inadequately fenced yard to explore the neighborhood or destroying your new couch when left home alone or climbing into your lap to shower you with kisses – they just don’t give up easily.”

“The American Pit Bull Terrier has been “selectively” bred for hundreds of years to fight other dogs.  This is the sad “work” these dogs were created for.  In the same way that Labradors were bred to retrieve birds, APBT’s were bred to face other dogs in mortal combat.  Even in dogs that are not recently bred from fighting lines, the urge to rumble can arise at any time.  Not to strongly emphasize this fact is to be negligent. ”

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