Homerville considers Pit-bull ban - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Homerville considers Pit-bull ban

By Alicia Eakin - bio | email

August 14, 2008

Homerville, GA (WALB) - One South Georgia City is considering an ordinance that would ban pit bulls from city limits.

The ban has been a hot topic in Homerville for about a month.

Mayor Carol Chambers wouldn't talk to us about why city leaders think the ban may be necessary.  But pit-bull owners and animal experts were happy to weigh in.

Four year-old Gator and one year-old Sadie are the babies of the Lee family.

"They are definitely family. They stay inside. Well, they let themselves in and out like a family member does," says Homerville native Josh Lee.

And playmates to the family's young children.

"They are fun to play with and they are sweet. They've never bited or been mean," says 7 year-old Aloragail Deloach.  Do they lick you a lot? "Oh yes!"

But an ordinance under consideration by the city of Homerville could ban the pit-bull breed and force Lee to give them up.

"I probably wouldn't get another dog to be honest with you because they are loyal to you. They'll do whatever you want them to do," Lee says.

Lee believes the ban is misguided and should target irresponsible owners.  "I just don't think people that abide by the law and keep them in fenced yards or on a leash in public if that's what the law calls for should be punished if we have done nothing wrong."

The Valdosta-Lowndes Humane Society does too. They say pit-bulls that attack usually come from bad homes.

"The owner's what makes the breed," says Kelly Affeldt of the Valdosta-Lowndes Humane Society.

And pit-bull attacks only represent a small number of bites but thanks to dog fighting, attract more media attention.

Rather than banning the breed, experts are asking that they re-evaluate their leash and anti-tethering laws.

"Anti-tethering laws would be a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, you put any dog on a chain for a long amount of time and abuse them, they will turn mean," Affeldt says.

The City Council will meet on August 21st.

Many dog owners, like Lee, will wait for a ruling and hope they won't have to give up their family and friends.



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