City unfairly singling out for punishment owners of pit bulls

To the Editor,

While I welcome an activist mayor and City Council in Lumberton, I believe they acted in haste with recent passage of an animal control ordinance that singles out owners of pit bulls and pit bull “mixes.”

Perhaps the city did not fully explain the ordinance or its reasoning. Did they rely on legal precedents or modeling of successful ordinances in other municipalities?

For instance, how do you define “mixed” breed? Or, how is requiring spay and neuter of pit bulls not the unjustified taking of property from owners who would breed their animals?

A dog bite should be viewed in the context of what it is — a possible crime. Typically, perpetrators are punished following due process. The city’s new ordinance is punishing good dog owners along with the problem owners. The common sense response to crime is to punish the criminal, not the innocent.

If the city wants to prevent crimes of this type, I suggest they ban chaining or tying up all dogs. This measure would reduce the number of owners who should not be dog owners in the first place, regardless of breed. This may also keep children from wandering into a dog’s path.

For the record, I am a dog owner but not a pit bull owner. I have little understanding of breeds and their violent behavior, but neither does the City Council absent evidence, expert testimony and a well thought out solution.

Scott Bigelow


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