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Argument for banning Rotties, pit bulls gains ground

The debate over banning specific canine breeds is back.

There is just no way of avoiding the question, so let’s get on with it: should Rottweilers and pit bulls be banned from Kamloops?

The reason for the question, of course, is the attack by a “Rottie” on an 84-year-old woman outside the Fortune Drive McDonald’s. The attack was unprovoked, and the woman received a serious wound to her arm before bystanders rescued her. It could have been much worse.

As we know from an RCMP statement today, this is the second recorded attack by the dog.

The debate over banning breeds usually tails off, so to speak, after everyone vents. Those in favour of breed-specific bans (I confess I’m one) argue that the record of pit bulls in particular is horrendous. Those who oppose banning specific breeds counter that it should be the dog, not the breed, that is punished.

The latter argument usually prevails. I draw your attention, though, to a Vancouver Province editorial, re-published in The Daily News as a “They Say” recently, that “Enough is enough. As many are saying, it’s time for B.C. to follow Ontario’s lead and ban the breed.”

The Daily News also published an editorial from the Calgary Herald that proposed owners of vicious dogs be subject to charges of having dangerous weapons. That, after an Alberta woman was attacked by two pit bulls.

Rottweillers have a better record on the issue than do pit bulls, but they’re a frighteningly powerful, and sometimes aggressive, dog. If more Canadian cities start banning breeds, should the bans be expanded past pit bulls to others, such as Rottweillers?

The issue won’t be settled any time soon, but the fact the dogs in Sundre had already been declared vicious via the town’s animal-control bylaw, and that the dog in Kamloops had created problems previously, certainly detracts from the argument that problem dogs can best be controlled by regulation aimed at individual animals.

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About Mel Rothenburger (5078 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on Argument for banning Rotties, pit bulls gains ground

  1. Mike in Kamloops // August 19, 2014 at 2:28 PM // Reply

    Our family has had Dobermans, and Rotties. They are house dogs, not left outside chained to a fence, or worse. Its not the dogs, its the owners.

  2. gillrh2013 // May 13, 2014 at 12:01 PM // Reply

    As a trainer and K9 behavior specialist I need to ask when will dog behavior and training experts be involved with the answers, as once we act on any dog breed there will always be another to breed to wonder about, it is not the breed.

  3. A very tricky subject. As a boy of 6 or 7 I was bitten on the face by a collie I frequently used to pat on the way to school.I remember my dad having a word with the owner.It took me a long time to get over that and I,m still very careful around a strange dog unless it,s an obvious whoose.My brother in law had a vicious chocolate lab which is very unusual. I,ve known several dobermans and rotweilers,none of whom were mean. I am always wary of pit bulls,but I,ve found the ones you really have to watch are chihuahuas.The little buggers can be like lightning.

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