SD lawmakers take up breed-specific policy bill - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

SD lawmakers take up breed-specific policy bill

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A bill currently making its way through the South Dakota State House would keep cities from making policies pertaining to a certain breed of dog.

The bill was passed by a House Committee, Thursday, and now moves to the House floor. 

Meanwhile, it has a lot of dog lovers talking. 

Supporters say owners, not dogs, are responsible for attacks. Opponents say the issues should be handled locally.

KSFY News met dog lovers and advocates, Friday, who say we don't single out a race or gender when it comes to acts of aggression, so why do it for dogs? 

Jennifer McNamara has been a dog lover since she could remember and has owned pit bulls for over a decade.  If any South Dakota law was enacted or enforced based solely on the breed of a dog, like pit bulls for example, it wouldn't be fair. 

"If I were to be lumped into an entire group of animals based on a stereotype rather than my personal dogs' behaviors, there's a sense of unfairness to the good owners as well as creating an opportunity for bad owners to continue their behaviors," Jennifer McNamara said.

Jennifer has worked hard to make sure her dogs have good behavior but she knows there are others who don't. Instead on focusing in on any one breed, she says communities should have laws to encompass all of them. 

"If you have an animal at large or with aggression issues regardless of breed, law enforcement should be able to approach the owners and address the issue not necessarily on what kind of dog it is, but the behavior," McNamara said. 

Precious Pets Grooming and Country Resort owner Tom Gunslicks agrees. 

"Nobody wants to see a young child or anyone get bit. We want laws in place to encompass all dogs because all dogs are capable of aggression. We should not specific breeds," Tom Gunslicks said. 

If this bill passes, they say it would open more doors for South Dakotans to feel safer knowing laws regarding all breeds are out there to make that happen.

"We have great ordinances that aren't breed-specific. As one of the larger cities and more urban areas, I hope Sioux Falls becomes more of a leader in that trend," McNamara said. 

Read more on Senate Bill 75 here: http://1.usa.gov/1fZjWIe 

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