What is PETA thinking?

The city of Lakewood is in the process of reshaping their policies in regards to pit bull ownership. PETA, an animal support group, has weighed in.

In a statement from the city, quoted below, PETA basically told the mayor that they are supportive of special laws and regulations in regards to pits. They say these regulations can help protect pits, other animals, and the entire community.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a cited expert in animal rights for over 37 years, notified Mayor Michael Summers that it supports “pit bull-specific laws and regulations” in order to protect pit bulls, other companion animals and the community at large.

PETA’s Animal Care and Control Issues Manager Teresa Lynn Chagrin sent an email Jan. 8 to the Mayor and the entire City Council, which included a detailed PETA fact sheet advocating for pit bull-specific regulations and an exhaustive 15-year medical study by a team of trauma surgeons in San Antonio’s University of Texas Health Sciences Center.

“This is the first time we have heard a balanced approach from an animal expert when answering the public safety question about pit bulls,” Summers said.

The study, which was published in the Annals of Surgery, found that attacks by pit bulls were associated with considerably higher risk of death; caused more serious injuries; were more likely to require hospitalization; and, result in higher medical-care costs than attacks by any other breed. After a 15-year examination of national statistics, the authors reported the following:

One person is killed by a pit bull every 14 days

Two people are injured by pit bulls every day

One body part is severed and lost every 5.4 days as a result of pit bull attacks

The report concludes, “These breeds should be regulated in the same way in which other dangerous species, such as leopards, are regulated.”

“The safety of our community comes first,” Summers said. “I am determined to protect the safety of our residents. We have proposed legislation that would allow pit bulls in our city, while providing protections that avoid jeopardizing the safety of all of us. What we have further learned from PETA is these same regulations serve to protect pit bulls from abuse and irresponsible pet owners as well.”

At the beginning of the month, Mayor Summers jointly introduced legislation to City Council that strengthens dog control laws, adds requirements for responsible owners (e.g. mandatory spay and neuter, registration and leash control) and specific controls and regulations for pit bulls in place of the pit bull ban. The proposed legislation was determined through investigations of proven best practices adopted by cities throughout the nation.

PETA’s representative, Teresa Lynn Chagrin, is available for discussion and comment about PETA’s position on pit bull specific laws and regulations and may be reached at 443-321-1277 or [email protected]

Previously the mayor said that the city's breed ban would end. Now it appears as if new legislation has been introduced. The new legislation puts pretty strict restrictions on pit bulls and some other breeds. Some of these restrictions include a requirement of restraints, both on and off premises, muzzles when out for walks, and a limit of one per household.

The email that our previous quote references concludes by saying "These breeds should be regulated in the same way in which other dangerous species, such as leopards, are regulated."

What are your thoughts on this?

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