How breed bans impact animal shelters - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

How breed bans impact animal shelters

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL)-- Animal activists strongly believe breed bans are not  the answer to preventing attacks.  

Animal control officers and Humane Society volunteers have been busy in the wake of the weekend dog mauling in Hopkinton.

Staff members at the Cedar Valley Humane Society have spent much of the week fielding questions about these so-called "bully breeds" -- rottweilers and pit bulls. They're also traveling to surrounding towns to talk to city leaders about ways to implement animal control measures.

Zach Melton is new to the shelter management field, but in his sixteen months on the job he's traveled all over Linn County to talk about the importance of pet-owner responsibility.

Melton, Executive Director of the Cedar Valley Humane Society says, "How can we better enforce these things? How can we better enforce that our pet owners are licensed pet owners, that they're up to date on vaccines that they're spaying and neutering their pets, that they're showing those demonstrations of responsibility that warrants them the opportunity and the privilege of owning an animal!"

Diane Webber is the Cedar Rapids Animal Care and Control Manager and says,"It really crushes us and anyone in the animal welfare field when something like this happens. Its a terrible accident and one I hope doesn't happen again, but I know it probably will someday.  Line it up with training immediately so you get a grip on the situation right away so a pet knows you're the boss and not the other way around"

Cedar Rapids shelter statistics show "bully" breeds are twice as likely to attack if they haven't been spayed or neutered.

Some area shelters have awareness days, to educate potential pet owners about breeds that some consider dangerous.  Staff members say it can be hard to find a home for pit bulls and rottweilers, because some towns have breed bans.

Online reporter: Molly Nichols

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