City attorney directed to write new pit bulldog law
Staci Bryant playing with her one year-old pit bull Maci and her eleven month old daughter in her yard.
Christopher Pike, Albany City Commissioner
Mary Ligon, Citizen's Advisory Committee Chair
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
Albany city leaders have passed a motion to direct the city attorney to write a stricter ordinance targeting pit bulls, in an effort to improve public safety.
Wednesday, Animal Control and the Citizen's Advisory Committee told commissioners the breed is statistically proven to be more dangerous. But owners say a dog's temperament is based on its treatment.
"Love the baby. Ahh, there," said Staci Bryant as her one year old pit bull plays with her eleven month old daughter. She said the two are best friends, and says the breed isn't dangerous.
"I did grow up around pit bulls. My dad raised them. He was a breeder. We had southern pits and we had red nose and we raised them for over 15 years and never had a bite," said Staci Bryant, Pit bull owner.
But the Citizen's advisory Committee presented city leaders with a plan to classify the animals as dangerous dogs to expedite punishment against those that bite.
"This new ordinance would allow animal control to remove the dog from the streets and then go through the process as opposed to the way it is currently," said Christopher Pike, Albany City Commissioner.
Right now, if a dog bites, the owner must appear before a judge to determine if the pet is dangerous. Under the new proposal, pit bulls and similar dogs would skip the hearing and go right to punishment.
"The biggest issue is for those folks who may not be taking the responsibility they should with a dangerous dog that this will enforce them to be more responsible," said Mary Ligon, Citizen's Advisory Committee Chair.
The Albany Humane Society reported eight dog bites on employees in the last two months, 6 of which came from pit bulls. And they say a pit's bite causes more damage than other dogs.
"They have a lot of pressure because of the make of their jaw. Once again, that goes back to training," said Bryant.
Commissioners said national data suggest pit bulls are more dangerous than other dogs. But some of those breed's owners say pit bulls are unfairly targeted because of other owners who make the dogs more aggressive.
"Actually I have 4 dogs. I have a multi-poo, I have a yorkie, and I have a lab, and my pit is the least of the aggressive," said Bryant.
City leaders say they don't plan to ban the dogs, they just hope to improve public safety.
Leaders said classifying the dogs can be tricky, but hope the proposal will help define them. They said the process may change as they learn more about out how an ordinance would work.
No vote is scheduled. Commissioners will review the proposal once the city attorney drafts it.