Council hearing debates new regulations for pit bulls

Pit bull owners beware – new regulations are about to be put into place by the Lynn City Council.

The regulations will actually be new restrictions with the effort being all about reducing the number of violent pit bull attacks in the city.

A spate of pitbull attacks in recent weeks and months has served to highlight the public debate about new efforts to control the dogs and to make their owners responsible for dogs, which the council believes, are overtly aggressive and generally dangerous to the public at large.

Councillors led by Council President Tim Phelan wrote the ordinance last month following two pitbull attacks that sent two victims to the hospital, including a 6 month old.

“We are compelled to do something meaningful to keep our streets safe for children, the elderly, for everyone who might ostensibly become the victim of a pit bull attack – and that’s really all of us,” said Phelan.

The proposed new ordinance specifies that pit bulls are dangerous animals with powerful instincts for dominance and unyielding aggressiveness.

At last week’s Fourth of July fireworks display, a huge crowd of men, women and children turned out to Red Rock Park for the festivities.

At about 9:30 p.m., a young man taking his pitbull for a walk on a closed Lynn Shore Drive set the example for everything the city council is referring to.

The young man could barely hold the pit bull, who was charging forward and made uptight by the huge crowd and the booming fireworks.

Some observers said they could not believe a pit bull was being walked in the midst of such a huge crowd – and then the pit bull went after another dog – and only with a superhuman tug did the pitbull and his master get away as hundreds of frightened residents looked on in fear.

The new ordinance provides for greater fines and higher fees and more extended responsibilities for pit bull owners.

When the Lynn Journal recently wrote in an editorial that pitbulls should be outlawed altogether in Lynn, the Journal’s website received 10,000 hits overnight.

It is, in other words, a huge issue, with dog rights activists protesting against the ordinance saying it is unfair and public safety advocates pleading for pitbulls to be as far removed from people as possible.

An 8:00 p.m. hearing is planned at city hall Tuesday evening.

7 comments for “Council hearing debates new regulations for pit bulls

  1. July 14, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    Actually, TRUE public safety advocates are alongside the “dog rights activists” (whatever that implies) on this one. We realize that breed-specific laws have NEVER improved public safety. In fact, in some places, dog bites–including serious maulings–increase after BSL is passed. The only successful laws that truly improve public safety are non-breed-specific. We ALL deserve protection from dangerous dogs of ALL shapes and sizes. Breed-specific legislation isn't just discrimination against dog owners. It's discrimination against dog bite victims and potential victims as well.

  2. July 15, 2010 at 9:50 am

    so the pit bull charged at another dog when the owner of the pit bull was barely in control of his dog? That is it?! Well then, golden retrievers, mixed breeds and Australian shepherds should also be banned, because there are these three dogs in my neighborhood that always terrorize me and my dog on walks – they charge at my dog and the owners (the golden one is rarely on the leash, it takes up to 2-3 min for the owner to get there and all the time his dog circles me and my dog barking and nipping at my dog!) don't even bother to control their dogs! Oh, and my dog is a pit bull! Sometimes when the golden runs up to us, I have to pick up my dog and try to kick the dog away – it gets that bad! I am seriously thinking about requesting for the ban for golden retrievers. But since I have a pit bull, who will believe me?…

  3. redmoss
    July 19, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Phelan and the Council spent as much time writing the ordinance as they did considering recommended comprehensive alternatives. None. All they did was copy Boston's ordinance.

    Intelligent people know they accomplished nothing except the alienation and vilification of responsible dog owners.

  4. liveinlynnnow
    July 23, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    The city puts very little effort into enforcing local ordinances so don't worry nothing will change .COme torockaway .. Trash everywhere abandoned cars in everyones yard. yards overgrown. Ohh yes and parking you can park anywhere in lynn.In front of someones drive way no problem .fire hydrant no problem.. The city should have the inspectors walk the streets. with in an hour they would fund the department with fines .. just have to put some effort into it. As for pitbulls i see them walking all around with no control of the dogs or a muzzle .. so why arent they fined for no muzzle by the police. Its not the dog…its the owner.

  5. Nevap76
    February 20, 2011 at 12:11 am

    I think people dont have an open mind about pit bulls. People need to be educated about them. Most pit bull “attacks” are because of the way they are raised and trained, now dont get me wrong there are a few bad pit bulls, but also a lot of bad OTHER dogs, but because they dont cause as much damage and they don’t look as “big & bad” as pit bulls they are not considered “aggressive or dangerous” Dogs. As a pit bull owner I have raised my dog to be a GREAT pit bull. He has just passed the CGC class, and we are enrolling him in classes to become a therapy dog. He is the most loving careing pit bull that you will ever meet, so gental with kids and people and aniamls, it sad that people will not take the time to understand them, They make a GREAT dog when raised right.

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