McMinnville, Tennessee to Consider Ban of “Pit Bulls”

Editor’s note:   Nine calls to Animal Control about one dog is not a breed problem but an owner problem (and possibly an Animal Control enforcement problem).   If Animal Control is having difficulty enforcing existing law, how is additional legislation going to help?   It looks like McMinnville lacks Animal Control personnel, or perhaps the proper dangerous dog (owner) law to police irresponsible dog owners, so how will additional expensive and unenforceable legislation in the form of breed-specific legislation help?

Please write or call the McMinnville Mayor and City Council here and politely inform them that “pit bull” is not a breed and that breed-specific legislation in any form is ineffective, unenforceable, and unconstitutional.

From WSMV channel 4 in Nashville:

Pit bull owner Jennifer Barrickman, of McMinnville, said her 4-month-old rescue pit bull is playful and gentle, but McMinnville city officials are considering breed-specific-legislation that would place strict regulations on pit bull owners like her.  

Public Works Director Bill Brock said pit bull complaints make up a significant portion of the calls they get from residents. Records show one McMinnville address calling nine times about one dog.

Yet, owners said pit bulls get a bad rap because most times when they’re seen, it’s because of reports such as one in February about a 4-year-old girl who was attacked by a pit bull.

“We can’t talk to dogs, but we can make it difficult for owners,” said Brock.

If the ordinance passes, it will be illegal for people to own a pit bull other or so-called vicious dogs within the McMinnville city limits. Exceptions will be made for people who already own the animals and comply with all the provisions of the ordinance.

Detractors said the particulars about the ordinance are among the strictest in the nation. For instance, if someone complains about Barrickman’s pit bull, Lucy, she will no longer be allowed to romp freely in her front yard. Instead, she’ll be forced to wear a leash, muzzle and full-body brace.

Also, Barrickman will have to pay a $45 annual fee to keep Lucy and maintain $100,000 worth of liability insurance.

McMinnville veterinarian Dr. Sam Young said the proposed ordinance goes too far. He said similar breed-specific-laws have failed.

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