A couple of weeks ago, at a mayoral breakfast, a Sioux City, IA couple brought up the conversation of repealing the city's 4 year old breed ban. The Sioux City Journal published an editorial encouraging the council to no "go there". While the Journal opposed the ban back in 2008, and then again when it was discussed in 2010, but now says there has already been too much discussion over the subject and they should just move on.
There is little doubt that the city's ban has caused more than its share of embarrassing issues, including unconstitutional paperwork issues, targeting people who spoke out against the law, breed identification issues and civil suits about the arbitrary nature of the law and against the city councilman who pushed for the ban when his own Labrador Retreiver attacked a jogger and was later stolen from the shelter. The law has caused a lot of excess work for animal control and police officers who have even gone door to door looking for pit bulls. They even denied the licensing of a pit bull from a Navy Veteran who served 3 tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq who was 4 days late in registering his dog.
And to no surprise of anyone, the distraction of limited resources has had a negative affect on public safety as well. The city passed the ban in late 2008 (late October/early November) and began enforcing the law in March of 2009. 2006 and 2007 numbers come from this article, 2008-2011 numbers I obtained via FOI request this week (thanks to the helpful folks in Sioux City who were very nice in pulling the data together for me). I have no explanation for why the 2008, 2009 and 2010 data is different in the numbers I got from the city vs what is in the article.
Dog bites by year (numbers in parenths are those by "pit bulls" -- second parenths is "all other" dogs).
2006 - 88
2007 - 115
2008 - 102 (20) (82)
2009 - 107 (13) (94)
2010 - 134 (13) (121)
2011 - 117 (5) (112)
While it appears that 'pit bull' bites have gone down some since they enacted the ban (culling a huge amount of the population of one type of dog will do that). However, the bites by all other breeds of dogs have increased pretty dramatically -- and some of the other breeds that have increased over that time are Boxers, American Bulldogs, German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers -- all bigger dogs that "pit bulls' typically are.
So in other words, the Sioux City Journal is wrong. The city council SHOULD revisit the breed ban, and repeal it; because they have an obligation to fixt the failures of the prior administration in the name of public safety. The law has failed. Fix it.
Pictured, to the left (you can click on it for a larger view) is the thread from dogsbite.org celebrating the Sioux City Journal Editorial. Dogsbite.org celebrating the "victory" should come as no surprise as public safety has never been their goal -- having once named now fired Dog Warden Tom Skeldon "Dog Warden of the Year" in 2008 after his jurisdiction had a 23% increase in dog bites. At this point, I think most people are catching onto the truth about dogsbite.org -- they are a hate group (and by group, I mean essentially one person), not a group promoting public safety.
But maybe even more telling are the comments by Council Bluffs Assistant City Attorney Don Bauermeiester who is taking credit for having talked to an Assistant City Attorney in Sioux City. According to Don:
"When contacted recently by former intern, now assistant city attorney, I directed him to dogsbite.org. Beleive me when I say that the asst city attorney in Sioux City understands pit bulls must be treated differently. lol".
Yes, I'm sure all of the the residents in Sioux City who are paying for the enforcement of the law while it decreases their public safety are laughing hysterically.
So add Bauermeister to the small list of bozos who have no interest in promoting public safety - only in using his position to promote the slaughter of dogs that look like 'pit bulls' - and lol-ing while the animals die and public safety is compromised.