Thanks to the international backlash from people opposing a proposed ban of all Pit Bulls and Rottweilers in Moreauville, La., city officials decided Monday night to can the ban on the same day it was supposed to go into effect.
“I get to have my best friend back,” O’Hara Owens, whose Pit Bull, Zeus, acts as her unofficial therapy dog, told KALB. Owens suffers from severe neck problems.
After the news spread last month that Moreauville officials had voted to enact the ban — and threatened to destroy pet Pit Bulls and Rottweilers who weren’t relocated by Dec. 1 — more than 348,000 people signed a MoveOn.org petition asking them to repeal the ban.
The petition was started by Owens’ mother, Joanna Armand. She also created the Saving Zeus community page on Facebook, which now has more than 49,500 “likes.”
Moreauville alderman Penn Lemoine told KALB that if the public outcry against the ban was strong enough, it might be dropped. He was true to his word. On Nov. 24, the ban was placed on hold until the special meeting Monday.
Mayor Timmy Lemoine had been hospitalized back in October when the Moreauville town council voted in favor of the ban.
“We got a threat from PETA that said, if we didn’t repeal this ordinance, they had enough money to shut the Village of Moreauville down,” he told KALB. “I wasn’t going to be known as the mayor who shut the Village of Moreauville down because of this.”
Instead of a ban, Lemoine said owners will receive citations if there are problems with their dogs. “It will go to the 12th Judicial Court for the district attorney to decide the fine and what will happen with the owner and the animal,” he told KALB.
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 ASPCA, AVMA, HSUS, etc., etc. For these reasons, the trend has, fortunately, been to repeal useless bans instead of creating them.
“Three families and eight Pit Bull babies have been saved, and I know all three families are forever eternally grateful for all of the world for helping us!” Armand wrote on the Saving Zeus Facebook page yesterday.
“I may be new and I don’t know everything, but I’m not gonna stop and I’m gonna keep helping to raise awareness until this BSL is repealed across the world!”
Photo via Facebook