WCBI News at Ten - January 26, 2015
Pit Bull Owners Speak Out About New House Bill
LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) — A recent bill introduced to the Mississippi House is causing some dog owners to stand up for one breed seen as vicious.
Here is how the bill may affect some Lowndes County residents:
Kenneth Shaw has spent the last 30 years owning and rehabilitating pit bulls coming from abusive situations, but Mississippi Lawmakers may soon make it hard for places like Shaw Pit Bull Rescue to make a difference.
House Bill 1261, would require breeds resembling pit bulls to be under stricter rules.
Animal control officer, Steve Scott, sees first hand the impact of roaming pit bulls.
“Ninety percent of the problem we see is pit bulls in the city. Now the county there are a mixture of dogs, but the problem is in the city,” says Steve Scott.
If passed, the bill will require pit bulls to be muzzled while in public and secure at all times while at home.
Scott believes the bill will have more consequences for those who don’t follow the rules.
“In Columbus, we’re doing most of what’s already this law is wanting to do. Pit Bull dogs have to be confined on a slab in a kennel with a roof on top. Most of the people that own pit bull dogs here already do that the problem is going to be with the ones that don’t want to follow those ordinances,” says Scott.
Kenneth Shaw believes the bill is targeting the wrong breed.
“Instead of banning an animal that does not have the intelligence to do better they depend on humans to teach them the right thing. Well you’ve still allowing the bad habits of the humans to cause a problem. Your problem is still there it’s just going to come up somewhere else,” says Kenneth Shaw.
The bill also forces pit bull dog owners to purchase a $100,000 liability insurance if their dog is considered vicious.
Shaw says those laws could force them to close their doors.
“The way they’re pushing with insurance and everything else it would cost so much we couldn’t operate and the animals we have would have all been euthanized. We would probably eventually move to a different state,” says Shaw.
If you would like to read the full bill, click on the link below.