Well, this didn't take long.
In June, a 5 year old boy was tragically killed by a Bull Mastiff in Garland County when the dog apparently reacted to the boy "acting out" in a tantrum.
In response to the tragedy, Garland County's Quorum Court passed a law that specifically targeted several breeds of dogs (not including Bull Mastiffs) as nuissance/vicious dogs. The law went into effect in October of this year.
Not surprisingly, the results of the ill-advised, and poorly-thoughout-out ordinance have been a negative and causing significant over-crowding at the Hot Springs animal shelter. (BTW, I do think it's interesting that the article here never mentions that the law targets specific breeds of dogs).
Now, dogs that are deemed to be one of the targeted breeds of dogs are taken to the animal shelter -- and now must be held until a trial can be held so a judge can decide if the dog is considered a nuissance or not. Right now, the trial dockets are being set at about 90 days out, which means dogs being held for trial are being held for at least 90 days at the shelter.
The result is that the shelter is being over-run with dogs awaiting trial, while other adoptable dogs are being killed at the shelter. So now, not only are the dogs that resemble targeted breeds dying at the shelter, but while those dogs await trial and death, dogs of other breeds are also dying due to lack of space.
This is the result of laws targeting specific breeds. The laws do nothing to improve public safety and the net result is just a lot of dead dogs.
In response to the problems that it took the ordinance only about a month to create, the Garland County Quorum Court passed a bond system to help them "fix" their problem.
Now, owners of the "high risk" breeds can pay a $500 fee so they can keep their dogs until the court date. This allows them to take the dog home which saves animal control the responsibility of caring for the animal, feeding the animal and taking up shelter space while the dog and owners await trial.
It seems unlikely to me that many owners will choose to pay such a high fee but at least it's a start.
Justice of the Peace for District 11 Larry Griffin notes that it's the best solution to the problem.
Well, no, not really. The best solution would be to go back and rethink the law in the first place. It would be get rid of the law targeting certain breeds of dogs -- which inevitably leads to dogs dying in shelters unnecessarily and no increase in public safety -- and instead, focus the laws on responsible pet ownership, and targeting aggressive dogs based on their BEHAVIOR, not breeds.
That would be the best solution. Everything else is just trying to cover up for the problem of a poorly thought-out law that is focused on the wrong "problem".