Gaston Gazette: Punish Dangerous Dog Owners, Don’t Create Restrictive Laws

Posted on Feb 18, 2011
An interesting editorial appeared in the Gaston Gazette last week regarding whether or not North Carolina dog attacks should lead to new North Carolina dog bite laws or breed-specific bans. According to the editorial’s author, we shouldn’t overreact to dog attacks by taking away personal freedoms, such as the choice to own a certain type of dog.

In the last month in North Carolina, there have been several shocking examples of dog attacks across the state. In one dog bite incident in Waxhaw, a five-year-old girl died in a pit bull attack. In another aggressive dog incident in Lincolnton, a seven-year-old boy received a brain injury when attacked by a mixed breed dog. After the attacks, many safety advocates and concerned citizens began clamoring for breed-specific dog bans that may well prevent similar dog bite injuries and fatalities in the future.

However, others believe that new dog bite laws would be nothing more than reactionary and that there is not enough good research to back up claims that some breeds attack more than others or that banning particular breeds work. At the same time, opponents to new dog bite legislation in North Carolina say that any new dog bite laws would take away personal freedom and be extensive to uphold.

Another strong point? While there is some proof that certain dogs like pit bulls and German Shepherds are more likely to cause serious injury, any dog that is not properly trained – or that is not properly treated or fenced – can cause significant harm to humans. Instead of banning certain types of dogs or increasing the number of dog laws, we should focus on the laws that already exist.

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