An Oklahoma Senate proposal to ban certain breeds of dogs worries some pet owners, especially those with pit bulls, which are frequently targeted by municipal ordinances.
Senate Bill 32, proposed by atate Sen. Patrick Anderson, would overturn a current ban on breed-specific legislation on the municipal level, according to NewsOn6.com.
The current law prohibits banning certain breeds because of preconceived notions that they represent a threat to the safety of the general public.
Anderson said leaders in the city of Blackwell, located in Kay County, pressured him to propose the legislation because they wanted to be able to impose bans.
"You hear about dog attacks on occasion, so I'm sure there are other communities that have had this issue before," Anderson told NewsOn6.com.
Anderson defended the bill, claiming he isn't proposing a ban, but instead affording local politicians more control over their municipalities.
Oklahoma pit bull rescuer Rod Goodhue, whose adoption facility houses more than 100 dogs, was not happy with the proposed ban.
"We're really proud of our rights that we have and our animals," Goodhue told Newson6.com, adding that if the bill should pass, "They will come to your home and remove your dog, and that doesn't go over well."
The bill, which will likely be introduced in February, will allow for current pet owners to be grandfathered in, Anderson said.
Only 13 states have laws that prohibit local municipalities from enacting breed-specific legislation: Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Massachusetts.
According to The Humane Society of the United States, one of several major animal welfare organizations that oppose such legislation, the laws don't work because "while breed is one factor that contributes to a dog's temperament, it alone cannot be used to predict whether a dog may pose a danger to his or her community."
The HSUS also points out that for mixed breeds, it is often difficult for law enforcement officials to determine the breed of the dog on looks alone.
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