A call for muzzles on pit bulls in Airdrie

If muzzles dont work i suggest we just rip out all the pit bulls teeth at birth

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Allison Prentice is hoping to muzzle pit bulls in Airdrie.

After one of the dogs attacked her daughter’s year-and-a-half-old Labradoodle in the off-leash area on the city’s east side the morning of Aug. 25, Prentice has been hard at work organizing a petition to have all pit bulls muzzled when they’re off their owner’s property.

She doesn’t want the controversial dog breed banned in Airdrie, but feels a muzzle would mitigate what happened to her daughter’s dog.

The attacked dog will be fine, but needs a two week regimen of antibiotics and painkillers to repair damage to her legs and ear. She is currently in Cranbrook with Prentice’s ex-husband.

The incident was not reported to Airdrie RCMP.

It was her ex-husband, her daughter, Quinn Blythe’s father, who was with the dog when she was attacked on Saturday.

The owner of the pit bull pulled her dog off, has apologized and said she will pay the vet bills, according to Prentice.

Prentice isn’t upset with the owner, just the fact that pit bulls are in the city’s parks, unmuzzled and able to attack.

“This is the third one (attack) in the past month that I’ve been told of since I started researching pit bulls after the attack,” said Prentice, who owns a three-pound Shih Tzu. “I’m at the point where there’s no way I would take my dog out to an off-leash area.”

Prentice called city hall on Monday morning and found out that pit bulls only require a licence, just like any other dog.

“I’m not suggesting these dogs are banned,” she said. “But there are other towns in Alberta that require a muzzle.

“There are five off-leash parks in Airdrie and if I took my little dog to any one of them and it was attacked by a pit bull it would be just a small bite to that dog. It would be like a snack.”

Darryl Poburan, manager of municipal enforcement for the City of Airdrie, is currently working on a new dog control bylaw that will include a clause for violent dogs.

But Poburan is reluctant to single out the pit bull breed in the bylaw.

“You can’t stereotype breeds,” said Poburan. “Some pit bulls out there are really good dogs. Some poodles are violent.”

Poburan doesn’t know the particulars of the Aug. 25 attack but suggests Prentice would be well served by coming to the regular meeting council when he presents his dog control bylaw so she can make her concerns known.

Prentice is just in the preliminary stages of organizing a petition.

“With the amount of time that I walk my dog in Nose Creek Park I’m so frustrated that this (unmuzzled pit bulls) is allowed with no repercussions,” she said. “A muzzle on these dogs would be more than sufficient to satisfy anybody’s fears.”

Just last week in response to a pit bull attack in Sundre that left a woman disfigured, Alberta Solicitor General Jonathan Denis said he wouldn’t push for a provincewide ban on the breed, but would support any municipality that decided on sanctions against pit bulls.

Currently pit bulls are banned in Manitoba, Ontario, 11 U.S. States and 20 countries.

Poburan said the courts are threatening the legality of such bans and he is reluctant to single out a breed.

“We are slowly finding out that you can’t stereotype a dog,” he said.

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