Mar 14, 2006 2:55 pm US/Eastern
Pit Bull Controversy In New Castle
(CBS 3) PHILADELPHIA Muzzles, warning signs, and liability insurance are just three requirements that one local councilman wants to become law with pit bull owners. CBS 3’s Marge Pala reports on the controversy in New Castle County, Delaware.
”The most recent pit bull attack on three-year-old Destiny Campbell sparked outraged in her Oakmont neighborhood where many live in fear of the dogs.
”I have a two-year-old grandson and God forbid one of those dogs got a hold of him. I wouldn't know what to do and he wouldn't have a chance,” stated Oakmont resident Sherry Bell.
However, pit bull owners defend their breed. “I think how you train them is the key,” said Norman Borley.
It was a pit bull fight outside the community center he runs that inspired this county councilman to sponsor the new bill.
”They terrified my students and made me afraid of them for life and the only way they could dislodge the two was kill one of them,” stated another.
”Under the new law, owners would be required to muzzle pit bulls while off their property, post a warning sign and buy $100,000 worth of liability insurance.
County Councilman Jea Street (D) says his bill is a step back from his original proposal. “In my heart I believe they should be banned. There are too many irresponsible owners,” he explained.
Kennel Club officials oppose the bill on the grounds that breed-specific legislation won't make irresponsible owners responsible. “You can train any dog to be mean they'll just go to another breed and fight those,” explained Joe Foster of the Wilmington Kennel Club.
Emotions are running high on both sides and Street has had some threatening emails.
”I've also been told they're going to muzzle me. If they mean at the ballot box, that's one thing. If they're talking about something else then I shall not be moved,” said Street.
The bill comes up for a vote by New Castle Council Tuesday evening.