Should New Jersey Ban Pit Bulls?
Pit bulls have recently been in the news after the mayor of Montreal wanted to create a ban against residents acquiring pit bulls. The legislation, which was recently suspended indefinitely, would have killed hundreds of pit bulls currently living in shelters in the city as well as any resident who refused to follow the regulations. The ban came about after a woman was fatally mauled by a pit bull a few months ago and targeted specific breeds such as Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terries, and American Pit Bull Terriers.
Is Montreal correct in its ban against pit bulls? According to a 2009 study conducted by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 51 percent of dog attacks were from pit bulls. In addition, a 2011 study from the Annals of Surgery had found that attacks from pit bulls “are associated with higher morbidity rates, higher hospital charges, and higher risk of death than are attacks by other breeds of dogs.”
Regulations on owning a specific dog breed is nothing new. In New Jersey, there is a law called the Vicious and Potentially Dangerous Dog Act which prohibits local municipalities from banning specific dog breeds such as pit bulls. Municipalities across New Jersey have tried to fight this law by prohibiting pit bulls, yet have failed to see their ordinances stand up in a court of law.
What happens if a pit bull does attack you in New Jersey? According to the law, if the attack was unprovoked and had caused serious bodily injury or even death, an animal control officer can seize and impound the dog for a length of time to determine whether the dog is vicious or potentially dangerous. Meanwhile, you do have the legal right to sue the owner of the dog for negligence.
If you’ve been attacked by a neighbor’s pit bull, know your rights. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation.