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Newspaper urges restrictions on pit bulls

The Portland Oregonian, in a Sunday editorial prompted by several recent dog attacks, called for laws classifying all pit bulls as “potentially dangerous.”

“We don’t favor a total ban on pit bulls: Some have good dispositions and can be wonderful animals if well-trained. However, we do think Oregon should reconsider breed-specific laws, rather than treating pit bulls as if they were puppies,” the editorial said.

Under the current Multnomah County ordinance, any dog can be classified as “potentially dangerous,” but only based on its behavior. Owners whose dogs are classified as “potentially dangerous” can be required to take extra steps to protect the public, such as getting liability insurance and attending obedience school.

The newspaper called for pit bulls to be automatically classified as potentially dangerous, then allowing owners to take steps to get their dogs declassified through the already established procedures.

In other words, if you’re a pit bull, or possibly a Rottweiler, you’re guilty until proven innocent.

The editorial cites misleading figures — then makes the same knee-jerk conclusion a lot of jurisidictions have been making.

Fortunately, the paper’s pet blogger sees it differently and provided some balance, and more than a few online commenters (at the bottom of the article) are pointing out the fallacy of breed-specific legislation.


Comment from Anne-n-Spencer
Time December 2, 2008 at 8:09 pm

The blogger and people making the various comments show a lot of common sense. I thought there was a fascinating sidelight to Rufus’s win of Best in Show at Westminster two years ago. He is a colored Bull Terrier. The judge who put him up is from Ontario, home of the most brutal and draconian BSL on the planet.

Comment from ruth campbell
Time August 17, 2010 at 11:08 pm

A bull terrier is not the same breed as a pit bull!! A staffordshire is the same breed , only called different according to who registered them.