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Pit Bull Breed Faces Restrictions In Garland County

Pit Bull breed could face certain restrictions if ordinance is passed.
GARLAND COUNTY, AR -- People showed up to the Garland County Courthouse tonight armed with their opinions on a proposed dog ordinance.

If passed, the new law would put restrictions on certain dog breeds.

After hours of comments, committee members came up with some suggestions for the ordinance that would affect pit bull and pit bull mixed breeds.

They include:

1. The dog must be spayed or neutered.

2. The dog must be on a leash when it's walking.

3. The dog must stay behind a fence that's at least six feet tall when out in the yard.

4. The dog must be identified through a microchip or tattoo.

The committee did not decide tonight how much liability insurance will be required for pit bull owners, but previously had recommended $100,000.

One Garland County woman says her pit bull rescue organization is now in danger because of this ordinance.

Miranda Hendricks, who operates Strong Paws Dog Rescue, said, "They make a list of the dogs they basically want to kill and they make it so these dogs are killed."

Her organization is dedicated to saving pit bulls and pit bull mixes.

Hendricks says no matter what people think about this dog, it's a great breed to have.

She said, "This breed would rather die for a human than attack a human."

But because of a proposed ordinance putting restrictions on the breed, her rescue organization is in jeopardy.

Hendricks says volunteers help to foster these dogs and she couldn't ask them to pay for liability insurance.

Eunice Robison is one of those volunteers.

Robison hasn't always felt so positive about the pit bull breed after one attacked and killed a family pet.

But she says education changed her opinion.

Robison said, "They can't talk to us like we are now they talk in their own language."

Most of the people speaking their minds at the courthouse argued against breed specific legislation as well.

But committee members decided to go forward with their proposed ordinance anyway.

Hendricks said, "Because these politicians want this breed here to be exterminated and that's what this ordinance more or less is for."

There will be another meeting on the topic next Monday night at the Garland County Courthouse.
   
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