Proposed Law Aimed at Reducing Dog Bites in Oklahoma
Beautiful Pit Bull (Photo credit: Tobyotter)
Oklahoma Senator Patrick Anderson is currently proposing a law in an attempt to reduce the number of people
who are bitten by dogs in Oklahoma. The law, titled Senate Bill 32, would allow
municipalities within the state to ban residents from owning specified breeds
of dogs. It is currently illegal for Oklahoma municipalities to prohibit dog
ownership based on breed.
Senator Anderson believes the bill will protect
citizens from dangerous dogs. The article suggests that some dog breeds, namely
pit bulls, are more likely to be banned than others. According to Senator
Anderson, “[The bill] doesn’t specifically target pit bulls, but it says a
community can choose to ban a specific breed if they choose to do so. Most of
the discussion I have ever had about the topic center around pit bulls.”
The bill has already spurred strong opposition.
Of the bill, Tulsa Animal Welfare Manager Jean Letcher has stated, “It’s a
step backwards for us. You’re going basically on appearance [when you ban the
breeds].” Staff at the Tulsa Animal Shelter, who already work long hours
to care for and find homes for pit bulls and pit bull mixes, are also opposed
to the proposed law.
For a good example on why cities should “punish
the deed, and not the breed,” check out Pit Bulls & Parolees on Animal Planet. It’s shocking to see how bad
people can treat dogs. Surprisingly (or not if you’ve watched very many of the
episodes), is that the dogs still come out loving people.
If the legislature passes the bill, it will
only need the signature of Governor Fallin to become law.