Young-Williams Recommending Tougher Dangerous Dog Rules

Knox County (WVLT) -- The Knox County Commission could be changing their dangerous dog ordinance soon.

Volunteer TV's Lauren Davis has the details.

The Young-Williams Animal Center board voted Friday to recommend changes to the ordinance to the county commission.

The Young-Williams board presented several proposals that would seek to stop the overpopulation of animals.

But after a recent pit bull attack that left a young woman dead, the victim's uncle doesn't' feel spaying and neutering will stop violent dogs.

James Pipes was an uncle to 21-year-old Jennifer Lowe, who died after she was attacked by two pit bulls on November 12th in the Hardin Valley area.

"It was tragic, brutal, an unacceptable," said Pipes.

James showed us papers he says shows the pit bulls were deemed dangerous by Knox County more than two months before they killed Jennifer.

"So even the dangerous dog ordinance didn't save my niece's life," he said.

Young-Williams Animal Center's Board of Directors thinks education might be the key.

"We need owners to educate themselves of proper training," said Michael Blackwell, Young-Williams Animal Center Board Chair.

The board voted to recommend to the county a mandatory spay/neuter rule for dogs who've attacked a person on two or more occasions.

They also recommended to euthanize dogs that continue to be a problem.

"We believe spay and neutering is very important, it's very important," said Blackwell.

According to veterinarians, because spaying and neutering keeps breeding animals from roaming, it makes animals less aggressive, and of course it stops the reproduction of violent dogs.

But is spaying and neutering the animal good enough for Jennifer's uncle?

"Instead of putting blame on dog put the blame on owners where it belongs," said Pipes.

But for now, the dangerous dog ordinance changes will have to do while the board continues talk about other ways to protect the public.

The board talked a little about the controversial "breed specific" legislation where they take action against a certain breed.

But they didn't vote on anything.

It's not clear when the Knox County Commission will consider the proposed changes.

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  • by jason Location: halls on Dec 4, 2007 at 03:39 AM
    professional breeder or not...a pitbull, which is bred to attack, fight and protect, CAN go off at any time. sure, many of them never do. but, when one of these dogs maim or's owner invariably says, "the dog had never been aggressive before!" owners of these dogs should have to carry liability insurance.
  • by Maria Location: TN on Dec 2, 2007 at 07:40 AM
    Unless you are a professional breeder, there is no reason for your pet to not be neutered or spayed. They should've approved to neuter/spay any animal picked up by Animal Control. And some people at that meeting are in obvious denial about pits and pit mixes.
  • by Gina Location: TN on Dec 1, 2007 at 07:17 AM
    ""We need owners to educate themselves of proper training," said Michael Blackwell, Young-Williams Animal Center Board Chair." Bravo! Well said! You might add education on what type/breed of dog is suitable to what environment. ""Instead of putting blame on dog put the blame on owners where it belongs," said Pipes." Again, BRAVO! I'm glad to see a clear understanding that owner accountability is what is at issue. Breed bans and forced spay/neuter don't work because they don't change bad owner behavior.
  • by Chris Fortner Location: Dandridge on Dec 1, 2007 at 12:11 AM
    I once did an article for a newspaper earlier this year about an animal shelter and generally spaying and neutering. It was estimated that these simple steps could prevent as many as 20 million unwanted dogs and cats from being put to sleep every year.


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