Tuesday, May 01, 2018 by Tracey Watson
Certain dog breeds have come under a lot of fire in recent years, with an increasingly hysterical public becoming convinced that they are dangerous and pose a serious risk to the community. The most infamous of these breeds is probably the pit bull, which is often bred for dog fighting – an illegal activity that started regaining popularity in the 1980s – and is therefore perceived to be a vicious fighter. Dogs of this breed are also the go-to-choice for drug dealers and gangs, which has not improved their image.
The Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991 made it illegal to either own or breed pit bulls and several other dog breeds in the United Kingdom. Now, a neighborhood in the town of Lexington, Kentucky, has made a similarly drastic decision, banning 11 different breeds that it has labelled “aggressive,” including pit bulls, Great Danes and huskies.
Homeowners in McConnell’s Trace were sent letters by the neighborhood developer detailing a reported change in an existing dog restriction, which previously referred only to unspecified “aggressive breeds,” said Josh McCurn, president of the area’s neighborhood association. Now German shepherds, St. Bernards and chows are among the list of 11 dog breeds restricted from the neighborhood.
Concerned homeowners immediately arranged an emergency town hall meeting to discuss the situation, and residents’ “furry companions” were invited to attend.
Many dog lovers also took to social media or approached news outlets to express their outrage.
Dennis Anderson, the community’s developer, remains unperturbed by the outcry, however.
“We want a mother and her child to feel safe when walking to the mailbox or hiking on the Town Branch Trail,” Anderson told the Herald Leader by email. “We want McConnell’s Trace to be the safest place to raise a family.”
Anderson insists that the restrictions relating to these 11 dog breeds have been in place since back in 2006.
Pet lovers who already own a dog on the “restricted” list have been told that they may keep their pets. However, no residents will be able to obtain these pets in the future. (Related: Vegan pet dogs? Yes, it’s happening.)
Confusion is rife among residents, some of whom were handed a 2001 deed of restrictions when moving in, which did not list the banned breeds, while others were given the 2006 list which did include the restrictions.
Josh McCurn, president of the area’s neighborhood association, says the association was not given any say in the decision and had no part in writing its language.
He has invited the community to approach him to discuss the matter so that he can relay any concerns to the developer. It doesn’t sound like he will have much power to get the decision amended, however.
Unfortunately, such hysteria around dog breeds is largely fueled by the media, and blame can squarely be laid at the feet of irresponsible dog owners who encourage their animals to be aggressive or do not give them adequate training and exercise. (Related: Find out what other news the media is exaggerating at MediaFactWatch.com.)
According to Cesar’s Way, the Houston Chronicle reported:
(M)any of the pit bull attacks are due to a skyrocketing number of poorly bred and badly trained dogs raised by backyard breeders, who are trying to cash in on the pit bull’s growing reputation as a cheap, but deadly effective guard dog, particularly in urban areas.
The story is much the same for other supposedly “aggressive” dog breeds. (Related: Guard dogs – 5 breeds that are perfect for protecting you.)
The complete list of banned dogs in the Lexington neighborhood is as follows:
That doesn’t leave too many options for the neighborhood’s residents, does it? So much for man (or woman) being allowed a best friend in Lexington, Kentucky.