Residents in the Montana town of Libby can legally welcome pit bull type dogs into their homes now that a longtime ban of the breed has been lifted. For years, pit bulls were banned in Libby – when the restriction was put into effect in the mid-1990s, town officials considered pit bulls to be “aggressive” dogs.
Libby Police Chief Scott Kessel explained to KPAX News, “Originally, as we know it, it was bred for dog fighting, which is an illegal act (in and of itself) but now, we’re not living in that time…the pit bull has entered the mainstream pet world.”
The pit bull ban was repealed after a 5-1 vote by the city council (with Angel Ford submitting the solitary “no” vote) last week – in its place is a vicious dog ordinance which doesn’t focus on one particular breed. Breed specific legislation (BSL) is often criticized because dogs are targeted solely by their appearance, rather than by their behavior. Additionally, while BSL focuses on a certain type of dog, it fails to take into consideration the impact of irresponsible dog ownership.
The repeal of BSL in Libby came about after city residents spoke out against the pit bull ban. Now that the ban has been repealed, Police Chief Kessel hopes that residents will get their pit bull companions registered.
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