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Sugar Hill could ban pit bulls from public property

By REBECCA McCARTHY

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 02/04/08

The hot button issue at tonight's Sugar Hill City Council work session is a proposed ordinance banning pit bulls from public parks and government property inthe city.

The council will consider, and possibly change, the ordinance, which has already generated a lot of comments and emails, said Mayor Gary Pirkle.

"We'll discuss it and see if there's something everyone can be happy with," said Pirkle, himself a dog owner. "We're consider building a dog park, so we're not anti-dog by any measure."

The mayor said the council would likely consider broadening the ordinance to include other breeds of dogs or expanding it to focus on vicious dogs in general.

Pirkle said a local dog trainer evaluates various breeds and certifies them as "canine good citizens." He invited the trainer to Monday's work session.

The proposal currently carries a fine of $200 to $1,000 for those who bring pit bulls onto public parks or "property owned or operated by a governmental entity" within the city limits, the ordinance says.

It defines pit bull as an American pit bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier or American Staffordshire terrier, or any dog bred with one of these three kinds. If necessary, a veterinarian will determine if the dog in question is a pit bull ⬠and that proposal could be costly, Pirkle said.

"I'm for statewide controls on vicious dogs," said Mark Dees, who's lived in Sugar Hill four years. He said those in the disabled community would support the Sugar Hill measure.

A developmentally disabled or autistic child doesn't know when it's appropriate to run, "and they could trigger that predator instinct," said Dees. He said he had to rescue a child from an aggressive pit bull and once saw a pit bull pull a child off a bicycle.

"These dogs have a split personality," Dees said. "They're sweet but can be serial killers when their owners aren't around."

Marcy Setter, director of education for the Massachusetts-based Pit Bull Rescue Central, said breed-specific legislation such as Sugar Hill's proposal isn't the answer. She also runs a website tracking such legislation.

"It's a knee jerk reaction," Setter said. "There's not a specific breed of dog that's the problem. Most of the time the owner is the problem, and that's what needs to be addressed, the responsibility of the owner."

Sugar Hill City Council member Marc Cohen said the issue "is dangerous dogs, not just pit bulls. A breed-specific ordinance isn't the way to go."

If the council works out an ordinance and places it on the upcoming agenda, members will vote Feb. 11 on whether to accept it.

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Marcy Setter, director of education for the Massachusetts-based Pit Bull Rescue Central, said breed-specific legislation such as Sugar Hill's proposal isn't the answer. She also runs a website tracking such legislation.

"It's a knee jerk reaction," Setter said. "There's not a specific breed of dog that's the problem. Most of the time the owner is the problem, and that's what needs to be addressed, the responsibility of the owner."

Sugar Hill City Council member Marc Cohen said the issue "is dangerous dogs, not just pit bulls. A breed-specific ordinance isn't the way to go."

The article answers your own question right there...

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joremari (2/4/2008)
b/c it's illegal and wrong to ban people, so you have to ban the dogs.

They're not banning ALL dogs...just certain breeds...the pit bull breeds. So, this ban can only be based on a belief that these breeds are inherently dangerous to the public, which means its not necessarily the owner at all...this particular type of dog is dangerous in and of itself...or at least that's what a ban implies to me.

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july425 (2/4/2008)
joremari (2/4/2008)
b/c it's illegal and wrong to ban people, so you have to ban the dogs.

They're not banning ALL dogs...just certain breeds...the pit bull breeds. So, this ban can only be based on a belief that these breeds are inherently dangerous to the public, which means its not necessarily the owner at all...this particular type of dog is dangerous in and of itself...or at least that's what a ban implies to me.

i don't know, but be careful about falling under the trap that b/c the government said it it's automatically right.

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capologist (2/4/2008)
Marcy Setter, director of education for the Massachusetts-based Pit Bull Rescue Central, said breed-specific legislation such as Sugar Hill's proposal isn't the answer. She also runs a website tracking such legislation.

"It's a knee jerk reaction," Setter said. "There's not a specific breed of dog that's the problem. Most of the time the owner is the problem, and that's what needs to be addressed, the responsibility of the owner."

Sugar Hill City Council member Marc Cohen said the issue "is dangerous dogs, not just pit bulls. A breed-specific ordinance isn't the way to go."

The article answers your own question right there...

Not really because the council member says the issue is "dangerous dogs, not JUST pit bulls.." so even if its not breed-specific, this particular breed is considered to be a dangerous dog? I going to go out on a limb and say the director of education for Pit Bull Rescue Central is a little bit biased..but evenso, she says "most of the time the owner is the problem"...most? so some of the time its really the dog?? The article didn't include any statistics or studies so I don't know what scientific (if any) evidence they have for even bringing this ordinance up, but I would like to know what even prompted it.

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july425 (2/4/2008)

Not really because the council member says the issue is "dangerous dogs, not JUST pit bulls.." so even if its not breed-specific, this particular breed is considered to be a dangerous dog? I going to go out on a limb and say the director of education for Pit Bull Rescue Central is a little bit biased..but evenso, she says "most of the time the owner is the problem"...most? so some of the time its really the dog?? The article didn't include any statistics or studies so I don't know what scientific (if any) evidence they have for even bringing this ordinance up, but I would like to know what even prompted it.

Sure some are but then again some chihuahua's are too. It's no different than when Doberman's and Rottweiler's were the breeds to hate.

I find it sad that the ONLY person who actually knows what they are talking about you have deemed biased because of their expertise. The times it is the dog is when dogs are bred to be aggressive and in that case, it's a genetics issue.

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capologist (2/4/2008)
july425 (2/4/2008)

Not really because the council member says the issue is "dangerous dogs, not JUST pit bulls.." so even if its not breed-specific, this particular breed is considered to be a dangerous dog? I going to go out on a limb and say the director of education for Pit Bull Rescue Central is a little bit biased..but evenso, she says "most of the time the owner is the problem"...most? so some of the time its really the dog?? The article didn't include any statistics or studies so I don't know what scientific (if any) evidence they have for even bringing this ordinance up, but I would like to know what even prompted it.

Sure some are but then again some chihuahua's are too. It's no different than when Doberman's and Rottweiler's were the breeds to hate.

I find it sad that the ONLY person who actually knows what they are talking about you have deemed biased because of their expertise. The times it is the dog is when dogs are bred to be aggressive and in that case, it's a genetics issue.

The woman is biased...its her job to be....duh. A director at a Pit Bull Rescue Central opposing a pitbull ban? yeah, I think she's biased. Like I said, where are the studies or statistics to support her position? Are there any? Is there anything other than you saying so, that supports certian breeds are not inherently dangerous? Is it just fear that has driven so many cities and towns to ban the breed? If you google pit bull bites/attacks/maulings...its family pets that commit most of the acts that are reported, dogs these people have had since they were puppies. Yes, I'm sure any dog is capable of an unprovoked attack, but this particular breed seems to be more prone to that then others...or its the one people don't mind reporting about. I can only use the numbers from the CDC to base that on.

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I saw a dog today attack 2 different people. 1) A guy just walking to the store, he had big rock in his hand, and I wondered what it was for. The dog ran up to him ( in a manner as to bite) he rared the rock back, and the dog stopped running at him. 2) A women with arms loaded with groceries ( she could not defend herself other than to kick) (and yes I ran to help) she had to kick the dog to keep him/her off.

This dog was a mut, what I mean by mut is bred from several different bloodlines.

The point of my story is not all dogs are vicious. They were raised in an environment that is hard living.

And before you play the vick card. I don't either love or hate him.

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july425 (2/4/2008)

The woman is biased...its her job to be....duh. A director at a Pit Bull Rescue Central opposing a pitbull ban? yeah, I think she's biased. Like I said, where are the studies or statistics to support her position? Are there any? Is there anything other than you saying so, that supports certian breeds are not inherently dangerous? Is it just fear that has driven so many cities and towns to ban the breed? If you google pit bull bites/attacks/maulings...its family pets that commit most of the acts that are reported, dogs these people have had since they were puppies. Yes, I'm sure any dog is capable of an unprovoked attack, but this particular breed seems to be more prone to that then others...or its the one people don't mind reporting about. I can only use the numbers from the CDC to base that on.

Why does that make her biased? Isn't it reasonable to believe she's in that position because of her knowledge and expertise? There are statistics out there, google it and you'll find them. I've said numerous times that a pit bull requires a lot more attention and responsibility than most dogs. If you respect CDC numbers then going back to a prior conversation, you should be completely against chaining dogs up. Why do I say that? The CDC says that a chained dog is 2.8 times more likely to bite that one that is not...

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capologist (2/5/2008)
july425 (2/4/2008)

The woman is biased...its her job to be....duh. A director at a Pit Bull Rescue Central opposing a pitbull ban? yeah, I think she's biased. Like I said, where are the studies or statistics to support her position? Are there any? Is there anything other than you saying so, that supports certian breeds are not inherently dangerous? Is it just fear that has driven so many cities and towns to ban the breed? If you google pit bull bites/attacks/maulings...its family pets that commit most of the acts that are reported, dogs these people have had since they were puppies. Yes, I'm sure any dog is capable of an unprovoked attack, but this particular breed seems to be more prone to that then others...or its the one people don't mind reporting about. I can only use the numbers from the CDC to base that on.

Why does that make her biased? Isn't it reasonable to believe she's in that position because of her knowledge and expertise? There are statistics out there, google it and you'll find them. I've said numerous times that a pit bull requires a lot more attention and responsibility than most dogs. If you respect CDC numbers then going back to a prior conversation, you should be completely against chaining dogs up. Why do I say that? The CDC says that a chained dog is 2.8 times more likely to bite that one that is not...

Its makes her biased towards that specific dog, because the whole purpose of her job is about that specific dog, dang you can't see that? That's like a chemist for Borden's saying steriod use in cows is not harmful or a consultant hired to promote No Child Left Behind, being biased towards No Child Left Behind. Its the JOB. That doesn't mean the person doesnt have expertise about what they're doing....it means anything contrary to their position, no matter how relevant, they will downplay or refuse to accept, that's all. That being, if the pitbull requires more attention and responsibility, then obviously, you can't just say its just like every other dog, well its not. I did see that stat from the CDC, but just like spanking isn't child abuse, that stat comes with mitigating factors. It came down to a choke chain, dog being tied up virtually all day...so if your dog is chained because you work or go to school, but runs around when you're home is well fed, blah blah blah...that's not one that is likely to bite more. I just wonder why so many places would ban this breed if there was not one iota of evidence to suggest this breed was more dangerous than another.

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july425 (2/5/2008)

Its makes her biased towards that specific dog, because the whole purpose of her job is about that specific dog, dang you can't see that? That's like a chemist for Borden's saying steriod use in cows is not harmful or a consultant hired to promote No Child Left Behind, being biased towards No Child Left Behind. Its the JOB. That doesn't mean the person doesnt have expertise about what they're doing....it means anything contrary to their position, no matter how relevant, they will downplay or refuse to accept, that's all. That being, if the pitbull requires more attention and responsibility, then obviously, you can't just say its just like every other dog, well its not. I did see that stat from the CDC, but just like spanking isn't child abuse, that stat comes with mitigating factors. It came down to a choke chain, dog being tied up virtually all day...so if your dog is chained because you work or go to school, but runs around when you're home is well fed, blah blah blah...that's not one that is likely to bite more. I just wonder why so many places would ban this breed if there was not one iota of evidence to suggest this breed was more dangerous than another.

Rather cynical viewpoint but that's your choice. My question is why wouldn't you put the same viewpoint on the council members? I mean they are politicians and with the same logic don't all politicians merely pander for votes?

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ah the classic pit bull debate. yes there are some pit bulls that are aggressive by nature. there are some that are much more calm and very suitable as a family pet. a lot of it depends on how the dog is raised and doing research on the breed and breeder or where you get the dog prior to bringing it home. i'd be willing to bet my yearly salary that 95% of all pit bull attacks reported are from pit bulls where the owner a) failed to do any research on the breed or breeder and just looked for the meanest looking/acting s.o.b. he could find, B) the owner had fought the dog at some point, or c) the owner has continuously neglected the dog. but hey....you could make the same case for a labrador retriever, or a jack russel terrier, or a poodle, or any breed for that matter. it's just like when i was working at a local petland store when i was 16 or 17 and a customer asked me if a hamster would bite. i replied with "it has a mouth, doesn't it?" he laughed, reached down to pick one up that didn't want to be picked up and got bitten. point is that if it has a mouth, it can bite.....poodle, pit bull, or hamster...it all depends on how educated and responsible the owner is imo.

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capologist (2/5/2008)
july425 (2/5/2008)

Its makes her biased towards that specific dog, because the whole purpose of her job is about that specific dog, dang you can't see that? That's like a chemist for Borden's saying steriod use in cows is not harmful or a consultant hired to promote No Child Left Behind, being biased towards No Child Left Behind. Its the JOB. That doesn't mean the person doesnt have expertise about what they're doing....it means anything contrary to their position, no matter how relevant, they will downplay or refuse to accept, that's all. That being, if the pitbull requires more attention and responsibility, then obviously, you can't just say its just like every other dog, well its not. I did see that stat from the CDC, but just like spanking isn't child abuse, that stat comes with mitigating factors. It came down to a choke chain, dog being tied up virtually all day...so if your dog is chained because you work or go to school, but runs around when you're home is well fed, blah blah blah...that's not one that is likely to bite more. I just wonder why so many places would ban this breed if there was not one iota of evidence to suggest this breed was more dangerous than another.

Rather cynical viewpoint but that's your choice. My question is why wouldn't you put the same viewpoint on the council members? I mean they are politicians and with the same logic don't all politicians merely pander for votes?

Not really cynical...I mean, if you're not biased towards a position, you're neutral about it...so I would expect a certain amount of bias on a subject like this. That being said, I would believe the director of education of that organization as opposed to a councilman with no evidence other than the popular opinion of his constituents. What I'm questioning is if there is no evidence of that breed being more dangerous, are all of these communities just basing an ordinance out of fear? I would oppose that because that just means there's a slippery slope of what else that community might be unjustifiably afraid of.

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thatenglishkid (2/5/2008)
Staffordshire bull terriers are ok, but he american bull terriers are bad. Thats why you can have staffies but not americans over here.

This thread is not about Bull Terriers or Staffordshire Bull Terriers (2 separate breeds, BTW).

It is referring to American Pit Bull Terriers, also known in AKC circles as American Staffordshire Terriers. IF that is what you meant, you should know they are the exact same breed. The only difference is in the name, like a Jack Russell Terrier and a Parson Russell Terrier.

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I really do not understand why this issue is so **** complicated. Pit Bulls are the most misunderstood and misrepresented breed of dog there is. But I won't even start to get into that. Here's a solution absolutely EVERYBODY should agree on, and if they don't, then they are just trying to be difficult.

Dog owners will be fully responsible for any actions made by their pet. If your dog kills another human being, you face involuntary manslaughter charges (unless you ordered the dog to do it, than it's 1st/2nd degree murder). If your dog maims somebody, you face felony aggrevated assault charges. If your dog bites somebody, you face misdemeanor assault charges. A dog is an extension of their owner anyway, so the owner's should be held responsible. If you have a problem with Pit Bulls, don't own one, own a chiuaua or laberdoodle or whatever. If you want a ferocious Pit Bull, you better make sure you know how to control it. If not, these are your consequences. Case closed, let the parks open up so everyone can be happy. There's no reason to punish good dogs because of bad owners.

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the evil emperor (2/5/2008)
Great news !!!

I can't wait until pit bulls are banned for all of our safety.

It's just too bad the cruel pieces of human trash aren't banned for our safety (and dogs safety too).

Now that would be some "Great news!!!"

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All agressive breeds should be shot on site like many places have done already,

But they need to include other too, like German shepards, Rots, Etc, They are killers too.

all dogs that attack and especially the ones that kill people,

I dont care if its a poodle, if the motherF attacks it should die!

33415908.jpg

Yesterday, Iran banned all Dogs in Public=Death!

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