Mar 25, 2014 Jacksonville and Morgan County Considering Regulating Pit Bull Ownership

Jacksonville - The director of Morgan County's animal control laid out his proposals to regulate pit bull ownership.  Addressing Jacksonville city leaders, Dr. Jay Hudson recounted a story about two pit bulls attacking his pony.

Hudson wants all pit bulls--full-blooded and mixes--and any dog that has a history of biting humans to be microchipped and photographed. He also wants the dog's owner to have liability insurance.

Hudson brought the issue to the council and said he was prompted to make a request for new regulations after two pit bulls attacked and nearly killed a pony he had on his property in the 1100 block of East Morton Avenue.

He said about 40 percent of all dog bites in the county in the past couple of years have been from pit bulls.

Pit bull advocates, apparently using a faulty BSL cost calculator, suggested that regulating pit bulls would cost the city more than $56,000 a year.

By looking at cities and counties with current BSL, the BSL cost calculator has been shown to be grossly inaccurate.

When Miami-Dade county's pit bull ban came up for a vote after 28 years, a prominent pit bull advocate consulted the BSL calculator and boldly addressed the Miami-Dade legislature saying their pit bull ban was costing county residents over $3,000,000 a year to enforce.  A county commissioner turned to the animal services director and asked him to verify the astronomical number the BSL calculator came up with for Miami-Dade expenses.   The animal services director "pointed out that $3 million was more than the department's entire budget for enforcement, and that pit bulls accounted for two percent of the enforcement expenses."  Miami-Dade residents voted overwhelmingly to keep the ban.

Pawtucket, RI has had a successful pit bull ban for a decade and comparing recent operating expenses to the estimated costs the BSL calculator returns for enforcing a ban there also shows that the BSL calculator is wildly inaccurate and always returns astronomically high dollar amounts.

Pawtucket, RI
Population 2011: 71,153
Median Income $39,628 well below RI median income of $55,975 and the US median income of $52,762.
Economic base: textiles, Hasbro toy manufacturer, jewelry, silverware and metals
Supposed cost of just implementing BSL according to BFAS BSL calculator: $112,132
Actual 2011 total animal control operating expenses (with 9 year old ban): $124,920

"The predominant number of dogs that cause our problems are pit bulls, or pit bull crosses," Morgan County Animal Control Director Dr. Jay Hudson said. "They're not all vicious. They're not all bad. Some dogs are excellent pets, but they have the tendency to turn and become very vicious."

The issue will now go to a public safety committee. At that point, members of the public can weigh in. A date for that meeting has not been set.

Despite Illinois' state ban on BSL, the home rule principle does allow communities to enact local BSL.  Illinois has a reputation for being one of the strongest home rule states in the nation.

Read more:

Related posts: