This article in the WBIR.COM 10NEWS EXTRA shows people are starting to get it!!!
10NEWS EXTRA: Keeping people safe from dangerous dogs
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The Animal Control board has a new plan to determine if a dog is dangerous or not.
Click here for a look at animal laws in various states.
Click here for tips on preventing dog bites.
Every year more than 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs. How to keep people safe, while being fair to dog owners, is an issue facing community leaders all over the country and the world, as well as here in our area.
"There's always been that special relationship between man and dog, our best friend," said Middlesboro, Kentucky City Council member Dewey Morgan.
What would we do without our dogs? It is a question that hit home for some pit bull owners in Middlesboro, Kentucky.
Last spring, city council members considered an ordinance that would have banned all pit bulls in the city limits.
"It was when we had so many people came forward in opposition to it, and it denoted that we must as council people look at it a little more closely and see what their concern was," said Morgan.
They listened and decided on a law that allows all dogs, with some conditions.
"Put the responsibility on the owner, and we know there's good owners and there's bad owners," said Morgan.
Many of the city's complaints were coming from people worried their kids would be hurt by pit bulls at the park.
Now with the new ordinance, dogs are banned from public parks and public events in Middlesboro.
Children younger than 14 years old cannot walk dogs in public by themselves, and every dog has to be on a leash no longer than eight feet long.
We saw several dogs in Middlesboro whose owners were not following the new ordinance. Despite that, the new law has cut down on complaints.
"As we stand right now I'm pretty happy with what the city did, and I'm satisfied and obviously the public is because there doesn't seem to be a public outcry on this issue at this moment," said Morgan.
Middlesboro was not alone considering a ban on pit bulls. The United Kingdom has banned its citizens from owning four breeds, including pit bulls, since 1991. The Canadian province of Ontario bans them and so does the city of Denver.
But a number of states have non-breed specific laws putting restrictions on ownership of any dangerous dog. Those states include Oklahoma, Colorado, Illinois, Georgia and Ohio.
"If it had been the only way to go would be to ban those animals, I would have voted that way, but if there was another way around it and I think we reached the best of all worlds," said Morgan.
Herryn Herzog , Reporter