Thanks to Public Outcry, Louisiana Town Puts New Breed Ban on Hold

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zeus louisiana pit bull ban petitionWhen the news spread over the weekend that Moreauville, La., officials had voted to ban all Pit Bulls and Rottweilers — and destroy any of these dogs who weren’t relocated by Dec. 1 — the backlash was immediate.

More than 215,000 people have signed a MoveOn.org petition asking officials to end the ban. It was started by Joanna Armand, whose Pit Bull, Zeus, acts as an unofficial therapy dog for her daughter, O’Hara Owens, who has severe neck problems.

Armand also created the Saving Zeus community page on Facebook, which has more than 30,000 “likes.”

Moreauville alderman Penn Lemoine told KALB Friday that if the public outcry against the ban was strong enough, it might be dropped.

He was true to his word. The Times-Picayune reported today that Lemoine said a special meeting will be held by Moreauville’s three aldermen and mayor to address the ban, which will likely be ended.

“It was a mistake,” Lemoine admitted. “And it’s got to be redone and reworded. And this Dec. 1 date is not going to happen.”

The ban was enacted because “vicious” Pit Bulls and Rottweilers were running in the streets, according to a letter sent to residents owning these breeds. Lemoine told KALB there had been dog attacks, although he said he didn’t know of any documented cases.

“We’ll get legal council to help us formulate something that’s going to try to keep the dogs off the street,” he told the Times-Picayune today.

Breed-specific legislation (BSL), which includes bans like these, is legal in some states, including Louisiana. But because it is so unfair — not to mention costly to enforce and proven to be ineffective in increasing public safety — it is opposed by President Obama and virtually all major animal welfare organizations: the ASPCAAVMA, HSUS, etc., etc.

For these reasons, the trend has been to repeal useless bans instead of create them. For example, just last week a ban that had been enacted since 2004 in Pawtucket, R.I., was lifted by a superior court judge. About 100 happy Pit Bulls and their pet parents marched in a parade Saturday to celebrate.

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