15 October 2012
Pit Bulls in the Pacific Northwest
Posted by admin under: News .
By Melissa Walton
In February, 2009 Oregon State Senator Bruce Starr introduced legislation aimed at banning pit bull ownership in the state of Oregon. Over 4,000 signatures were gathered in opposition to the proposed pit bull ban, and the controversial bill never became law in Oregon. After this bill failed, Representative Berger introduced a bill which would have required Oregonians that own pit bulls to have $1 million in liability insurance – this bill also failed to become law.
Some may consider these breed-ban style bills to be a thing of the past, but it’s clear that they are still relevant for Oregonians. In October, 2011 the superintendent for La Grande School District in Eastern Oregon banned pit bulls from schools district wide. The dogs were on campuses to teach children how to avoid dog bites. After the superintendent’s decision came down the Blue Mountain Humane Association decided it would no longer be providing this service for the district. The Humane Association argued that any dog is potentially dangerous, and that breed bans are wrong. Unfortunately children in La Grande won’t be learning to protect themselves from dogs (pit bulls or otherwise) because of the superintendent’s decision.
Across the river in Washington residents showed their opposition to breed bans last summer when a pit bull ban was proposed in Vancouver, WA. The ban was promptly pulled from City Council consideration due to the public outcry.
Across the country pit bull lovers and supporters of breed-bans alike have taken notice of this response to public outcry, and will likely utilize similar demonstrations to galvanize support for their side when future breed-bans are proposed.
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