OPINION | Phil Paleologos: Cities Should Have the Ability to Ban Pit Bulls
In 2011, a string of pit bull attacks in Lowell prompted their City Council to pass a ban targeting this breed of dog. Soon afterwards though, Gov. Deval Patrick signed legislation making it illegal to ban any breed of dog in the Commonwealth. That was then, this is now.
Recently, a 7 year-old boy in Lowell got into the fenced-in yard of two pit bulls and was mauled to death. This tragedy has reignited the old debate and the new question of who should control issues like this, the city or the state. The Lowell Responsible Pit Bull Ownership Ordinance required owners to have their pet spayed or neutered and limited an owner to two pit bulls. The ordinance also required the dogs be muzzled. City Councilor Rodney Elliott now plans to call for a city-wide ban on all pit bulls. He said, "We're an urban city. We have 108,000 people living in 13 square miles. You can go to some very densely populated areas in the city and I think that would be appropriate," Elliott says. "I don't think the law in the books is effective enough and I do think the responsibility is on the owner but if we didn't have pit bulls in the city, this attack would never have happened."
On the Phil Paleologos Morning Show, most callers were against any ban of pit bulls here on the South Coast. But you have to admit, if a pit bull does bite, he's far more likely to inflict serious or deadly injuries than a Chihuahua or Cocker Spaniel simply because of his strength and size.
I'd like to see issues like this decided on a local basis rather than decided by the state.
Editor’s Note: Phil Paleologos is the morning talk show host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6am-10am. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.