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Recent violent pit bull incidents cause concern for West Feliciana Parish President
WEST FELICIANA PARISH - Pit bills have long been dogged in society for being violent—an opinion that is highly contested by some pet lovers.
Just ask long-time pit bull owner Flo Garig.
"They're the best dogs. I've had them my whole entire life. I raised my child with them. One was in the bed with me when I birthed my son and she kissed him before I even picked him up and looked at him,” she said.
That being said, two recent violent incidents involving the breed have West Feliciana Parish President Kenny Havard on high alert.
"Because of what just happened, we're going to make sure that the West Feliciana government, which we have the authority to do, has an animal control officer that will take over custody of dangerous animals,” Havard said.
The parish already has a history of restricting pit bulls, as they are banned in the town of St. Francisville. Havard isn't proposing a parish-wide ban, but rather just a change in how they deal with dogs deemed “dangerous."
"One that has bitten someone, been accused of being rabid, been bit by another animal that needs to be checked out and tested to make sure it does not have rabies. Those sorts of things. Just use some common sense."
Currently, Havard says, dangerous dogs go to the parish humane society and, according to him, may be adopted out again. He wants those dogs to be under the jurisdiction of an animal control officer that he and the Sheriff's Office appoint.
"It just wouldn't be right to adopt pit bulls out that we don't know the background on them, we don't know the situation. I just don't think it's the right thing to do. We just saw what happened to this poor little girl in Baton Rouge and if we could stop that from happening, I feel like being parish president, it's my responsibility to make sure that doesn't happen to anybody ever again."
Havard isn't the only public official with hesitations about pit bulls. Across our area, both St. Francisville and Morgan City have banned them outright. In White Castle and Addis, residents are required to get a permit from the city in order to own one.
Activists like Garig say that breed-specific legislation is prejudiced and inhumane.
"All dogs are good. All dogs have the potential to be dangerous. Something happens to cause the dog to bite,” the East Feliciana resident said.
Pit bulls are also banned in Mamou, Kinder and Lake Arthur.
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