Should Louisiana allow bans of certain dog breeds? – NOLA.com

A family in Moreauville recently launched a campaign on the Internet that drew attention from national media after the village threatened to take away its pet pit bull, Zeus. 

The village of about 1,000 people passed the vicious dog ordinance, its mayor Timmy Lemoine said, because neighbors complained they were afraid to walk around their neighborhoods. 

Following backlash from around the country, the village repealed the pit bull and rottweiler ban. But Lemoine wondered why Moreauville received all the negative attention when a number of other towns in Louisiana ban certain breeds, mostly pit bulls. But animal rights activists say there's no credible evidence one breed is more dangerous than any other breed

President Barack Obama has also spoke out against specific-breed legislation. 

The following 17 states, according to the Humane Society of the United States, have laws preempting local governments in their state from banning certain dog breeds: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia and Washington. Additionally, South Dakota and Utah passed laws to not allow specific-breed bans in 2014, and the laws will go into effect in 2015. 

KC Theisen, the director of pet care for HSUS, said dogs generally become aggressive for two reasons: 1) an owner trains it to be aggressive, and; 2) the dog is neglected.

Breed-specific bans, as they're called by animal activists, are "based on myth and information," she said. 

But Lemoine said village leaders were just trying to do what was best for the community after a standing-room-only crowd of residents nearly all in favor of the pit bull and rottweiler ban. 

Should Louisiana allow bans of certain dog breeds? Should it be a local decision?

. . . . . .

Emily Lane is a news reporter based in Baton Rouge. Reach her at elane@nola.com or 504-717-7699. Follow her on Twitter (@emilymlane) or Facebook.

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