What's right for the greater good

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The national vitriol being aimed at the City of Aurelia for enforcing a City Ordinance banning pit bulls in the town is unfair, unjust, unduly harsh, and simply doesn't relate to the type of wonderful people who call that community "home."

Acting upon a citizen petition calling for enforcement of the pit bull ban, the City Council, paying heed to its constituency, earlier this month voted 3-2 to uphold the ban that resulted in a pit bull mix banned from the City limits.

Only problem is, that dog is reportedly classified as a "service dog" for a disabled military veteran and retired Chicago police officer.

We do not know the retired police officer and military veteran now disabled due to the effects of a stroke, although we admire him, wish him the best, and thank him for his unselfish, dedicated service to our country and to the citizens of Chicago.

We do not know what formal training his dog went through to become classified as a "service dog," or if he owned the dog first and then had it "trained" after his stroke.

What we do know is that the City of Aurelia is a great community chock full of wonderful people who would be among those first on your doorstep if anyone ever needed help.

As was so eloquently stated in a Letter to the Editor in Wednesday's Chronicle Times by a U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant living in Aurelia, without fail, his town has shown time after time in both words and actions its allegiance to our veterans, the disabled, and all those less fortunate.

We also lnow that countless cities across the country have banned pit bulls because of the animal's too-frequent penchant to viciously attack other animals, other dogs, and children and adults alike. It was such an attack on a person that led Aurelia to put the ban in the City books years ago.

Of course, pit bull and other dog lovers among us take great umbrage to such bans. Then, when you factor in a disabled military veteran and courageous Big City cop, that is one gigantic mountain to climb for a small rural town simply trying to protect its people.

After checking around, we found that having a pit bull as a "service dog" is extremely rare, if any others exist at all.

We do not know what the City of Aurelia plans on doing about the pit bull ban enforcement, or if it will recant its actions, amend the ordinance, and legally allow the man to have his "service dog" returned to him.

According to reports, the man is suing the City of Aurelia in an effort to get his dog back. Aurelia has a local attorney in the case, and the man also has an attorney paid by a national animal rights group.

Apparently, it all may be played out in a court of law.

Without getting into all the gory details, pit bull bans are on many city's books for a reason. For Aurelia, or any other city to roll the dice, run scared, and turn 'em all loose on an unsuspecting public because of the special circumstances surrounding this case is hazardous and possibly fatal folly.

Pit bulls are dangerous creatures classified by many experts as ticking timebombs. Not all! mind you, but enough to force thousands of cities and neighborhoods to ban them.

Not limit them. Not keep them in the house or tethered with log chain to a rail car. But banned. Totally.

And its all because nobody - not one single person - not even pit bull owners and breeders, animal rights groups with agendas, or Aurelia City Council members - actually know when that next timebomb might go off.