GREYBULL (WNE) — As part of its ongoing review of its vicious dog ordinance, the Greybull Town Council has raised the possibility of enacting breed-specific legislation that would outlaw pit …
GREYBULL (WNE) — As part of its ongoing review of its vicious dog ordinance, the Greybull Town Council has raised the possibility of enacting breed-specific legislation that would outlaw pit bulls within town limits.
The review was initiated after two separate dog attacks late last year, both of which resulted in injuries. In the first, a border collie jumped out of the back of a truck parked in the grocery store lot, rushed and bit a person, who required medical attention.
The second occurred on the south end of town, not far from the elementary school. In that incident, a responding officer witnessed a pit bull attack a resident. He fired a shot at the dog, injuring it. When a second pit bull at the scene rushed him, the officer again shot and injured the dog.
The council’s Jan. 13 meeting featured a back-and-forth between council members Clay Collingwood and Kaitlyn Johnson over breed-specific legislation.
“Pit bulls are a dangerous breed and anyone who wants to argue that is foolish because the stats don’t support your argument,” said Collingwood.
He said there were 100 fatalities from dog bites in 2019 and that about 75 percent of them were inflicted by pit bulls.
Johnson disagreed, saying the town should classify dogs as dangerous based on their behavior, rather than their breed.
“Any animal, no matter the breed, is the animal you raise it to be,” said Johnson. “Yes, pit bulls have a bad name because of what some owners use them for, but I know a lot of pit bulls that aren’t that way, too.”
Greybull resident Chelsea Brakke Bernard has been working to spread the word about the possible pit bull ban, hoping that community members rally against the idea.
“I fear that if they vote in favor, it will mean the euthanization and surrender of numerous beloved pets,” she said in a message to the Tribune. “This type of legislation is a knee-jerk, fear-fueled response and more appropriate regulation should be considered.”
Brakke Bernard believes more enforcement of leash laws and more severe penalties for dog-at-large offenses would be better ways to address issues with vicious dogs.
The Greybull Town Council’s next meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Feb. 10.