Nova Scotia

Safety of pit bulls questioned following attack

Some pit bull enthusiasts in the Halifax area say the breed is being singled out unfairly after a few recent attacks in the municipality.

Some pit bull enthusiasts in the Halifax area say the breed is being singled out unfairly after a few recent attacks in the municipality.

On Monday, an unleashed pit bull attacked a woman at Martinique Beach in Dartmouth, leaving her cut and bruised in the face and ear.

There have been 96 reported dog attacks in HRM this summer — 17 of those involved an injury to a person or another animal, according to animal services.

After Monday's attack, some say pit bulls should be banned, but others say a ban simply doesn't work. Ontario introduced a pit bull ban in 2005.

"It's all how you handle and train a dog," said Janet Chernin, who runs a dog daycare in Halifax.

She believes that banning breeds is a slippery slope.

"You can look to Italy that started with one breed being banned, and then got up to 91 different breeds of dogs being banned," said Chernin. "Then they realized it was doing absolutely nothing to safeguard the community."

Chernin said the answer is more enforcement and higher fines.

"Whether you fail to pick up poop or if your dog attacks unprovoked — is a summary offense of $341.21 across the board. It is not logical at all ... Why aren't they being properly regulated?"

Chernin said the fine when a dog attacks should be at least $1,000 or $2,000, that animals should be assessed by a qualified behaviourist, and if necessary, put down.

 

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