MAUMELLE, Ark. – The ban on pit bulls and other breeds perceived as dangerous has been a hot topic across the country for years. Now the debate for Central Arkansas gets underway as Maumelle tries again to lift a ban on certain dog breeds. The move is part of Ordinance 1022, which would change the city code to reclassify dangerous animals to aid animal control officials. Listed in the ordinance is the lifting of the breed ban, which allows animals such as pit bulls to return to the city.
13-year-old Dezstin Collins used to own a pit bull. He says the dog was so affectionate when they came and a great companion for his family. “He was a good dog, fun to keep,” said Collins. “Yes, a cute dog.” But the breed is currently banned in the town of Maumelle, which this new regulation could change.
An initial motion was submitted to lift the ban in 2019 but was not accepted. Now city councils are trying again what can be done. Public opinion is divided on this matter, as the Council meeting on March 15 showed. In a written letter to council members, one local resident said, “Lifting the breed bans for pit bulls and bulls would certainly take away that feeling of security,” while another citizen countered, “Irresponsible owners are the problem, not the dog.” Collins says, he agrees, feeling that it is up to the owner’s care and training to determine if a dog is “dangerous”, not the breed.
Regional groups also exchange their opinions on the way. In a written statement, Repeal BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) said in part: “All dog owners, regardless of breed or perceived breed type, should be held to the same standards of care, control and containment. Racial discrimination laws only serve to allay fears without recognizing or addressing the real problems underlying dog bites. “
The problem still has some time to be resolved. At last week’s session, it was proposed to split the motion into two separate regulations, with the racial ban coming to the vote in the local elections next May. The rest, including the reclassification of dangerous animals, would be decided by the Council. Your next meeting is in April.
You can read more about the regulation here.