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Garden City no longer to classify pit bulls as vicious

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It's good news for pit bulls and their owners in Garden City, Kan. according to Tuesday's city commission decision to amend its vicious dog ordinance reports the Garden City Telegram.

The American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and all mixed breeds with predominantly pit bull heritage will no longer be required to wear muzzles in public, nor will their owners be required to post signs warning the public of vicious dogs.

The city attorney, Randy Grisell stated dogs will no longer be deemed vicious just because of their breed, however describes a vicious dog as one who attacks people or other domestic animals without provocation, a fighting dog, or a dog that has bitten someone. He states:

"The same type of conduct will lead to a citation and designation as a vicious dog once it gets to municipal court. But the fact that you have a pit bull or some of the others that we had defined, that doesn't mean it's vicious."

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, (ASPCA) pit bulls have historically been given a bad rap, but states a dog who is

"a well-bred, well-socialized and well-trained pit bull is one of the most delightful, intelligent and gentle dogs imaginable. It is truly a shame that the media continues to portray such a warped image of this beautiful, loyal and affectionate breed. Pit bulls once enjoyed a wonderful reputation. Some of the most famous dogs in American history were pit bulls. A pit bull named Stubby, a decorated hero during World War One, earned several medals and was even honored at the White House..."

All dogs in Garden City are required to be leashed.

Although Breed-Specific Legislation still widely exists, a 20 year study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that listed the breeds involved in fatal dog attacks, concluded there is no accurate way to identify specific breeds. Mixed breeds and unqualified people misidentifying dog breeds have resulted in the failure to identify the number of dogs of any specific breed.

It is recommended by the CDC that dogs be judged on their specific behavior as "dangerous dogs."

For more information on the featured pit bull photographed, please click here for Bella-Reed Pit Bull Rescue.

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