The Atlanta Injury News Blog

Douglasville Expected To Vote On Citywide Pit Bull Ban

If Douglasville City Council votes in favor of an ordinance to ban the popular but often dangerous pit bull breed from its city limits, as reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, it would be one of the first cities in Georgia to have a pit bull ban. Originally scheduled for a vote earlier this week, council members decided to delay it for at least two weeks.

The majority of the seven-member City Council said they wanted to proposed law to be reviewed by both the American Kennel Club and the Humane Society before they vote on the measure.

Existing pit bull owners would be "grandfathered" in, but would be required to register their pooches; otherwise, they face a fine of up to $500. Those pit bulls also would have to be kept indoors or kept in a covered pen or behind a 6-foot fence. Pit bulls that are out public will be required to wear a muzzle.

Pit bulls often are bred for fighting or otherwise trained to be violent or attack on command, which has led to maulings and phone calls to countless Atlanta injury lawyers.

Support for the ordinance grew after three loose pit bulls attacked a Douglasville woman, seriously injuring her, while she was out walking on July 5. In another recent incident, a Douglasville police officer was forced to shoot a pit bull that had attacked a puppy. Mayor Mickey Thompson said he thought singling out pit bulls for a ban just makes sense.

However, the Atlanta Humane Society said the pit bull ban was a bad idea. Miguel Abi-Hassan, director of animal welfare initiatives and outreach for the organization, said the Humane Society does not condone "breed-specific" legislation and that it's more about the owner, not the animal:

"If you go back to PR stigmas, in the 80s you had a stereotype on German Shepherds, and in the 70s it was Dobermans and Rottweilers. Limiting the breed is not going to do anything if people are not encouraged to train, properly restrain and ultimately be entirely responsible for their animals."

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