I had a visit with Sheriff Tippett concerning Pit Bulls, Ordinances, and other chit-chat around dogs. Both of us grew up with parents that gave a dog a "one strike and your out" chance meaning, "one bite and you are out of here!"
However, local ordinances allow dogs to bite a human TWICE in one calendar year before the owner has to get rid of the animal. So technically the dog can bite one person a year for the rest of its life and not have to be put down. Then again, if you have a kid hitting a dog with a bat, and the dog fights back, it's not fair to put the dog down.
So now you know how hard it is to legislate, well everything. There's always an exception.
The incident in Keystone was triggered by a two-year-old that was bitten by a dog that had been abandoned, which was a pit bull or had the characteristics or looked like one or...and this is what triggered the pit bull incident. (Now I have to make a correction here. According to the deputy that talked to the families, there were only 4 or 5 families notified.)
The sheriff and I discussed briefly how you can find anything on the internet to support both sides of the pit bull argument. So really it boils down to who makes the strongest argument and who can sway the lawmakers.
That is how laws are made.
The sheriff said that calls about dogs aren't unheard of in the county. We hung up and as I tried to fall asleep, you know how it goes, you're tired but have 100 things to think about, I had another question.
So Thursday morning found me calling the Sheriff's office again. "How many incidents have there been in the county concerning dogs attacking people?" I asked Deputy Sheriff Lindeman.
"Well, it will take me a while to find that out, but you can call Marc Greenlee at the courthouse he's on the board of health and records that information, but I'll see what I can find," said Lindeman.
So I sent off another email to Marc Greenlee.
According to Greenlee's numbers, "In the calendar year 2021 our records show that we had thirty-five (35) dog bites reported to this Department. State law requires that animal bites be reported. We usually do not get any information about "attacks", or animals fighting other animals, unless humans were bitten in the process."
Of the 35 dog bites reported, 0 were by a pit bull. "That could be because of the ban in Benton County, and/or the fact that if someone actually was bitten by a pit bull dog, and it was not reported," Greenlee said.
Or, I believe that it could be because there simply weren't any pit bull incidents and we know now that there are pit bulls in the county last year.
While I'm a bit torn on pit bulls, looking at the number of attacks in a year in Benton County alone, we average 3 a month, and none of those have been by a pit bull, so statistically, all of the other dogs are more dangerous.
At best, I believe the ordinances are poorly written. Like other wording in government proceedings that I've seen in the past, leaving a huge decision up to a single person to decide the guilty verdict. In this case, if you "think" a dog looks like a pit bull, well it can be gotten rid of.
If anything this whole discussion should better define exactly what EXACTLY is a dangerous dog, and it should reach across all breeds...including the 35 who attacked last year.
My email has been blowing up with discussions on this topic. I will share some information that I received from the director of the National Humane Society that they thought my readers might want to read on the subject.
According to Preston Moore, Iowa State Director, State Affairs an ordinance or the enforcement thereof can be suspended
This is the dog section of their municipal policy guide: https://humanepro.org/sites/default/files/documents/municipal-pet-policy-toolkit.pdf)
Here is an article about the Dangerous Dog Ordinance:
Here is a Model of an Ordinance Regulating Dangerous Dogs
This is the link to an article entitled, "Coexisting Peacefully: Managing Dogs in Your Community"