Society

More Than 140,000 People Sign Petition To Overturn Louisiana Town's Pit Bull Ban

| by Jared Keever

A Louisiana family has vowed to fight an ordinance in their hometown that would force them to get rid of their beloved pet. 

The village of Moreauville passed an ordinance last month requiring families who own pit bulls or Rottweilers to get rid of the animals by December 1. Families who do not comply will have the animals taken from their home for “disposition.”

O’Hara Owens says that’s unfair. Her family has asked the city to overturn the ordinance. But Owens is trying to spend as much time as possible with her pit bull, Zeus, in case they are unsuccessful. 

“If anything ever happened to him, I would just shut down,” she recently told KALB

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O’Hara suffers from neck problems and wears a halo brace. She said Zeus acts as a type of “therapy dog” for her, helping to comfort her when she is in pain. 

She and her mother, Joanna Armand, say Zeus has never attacked anyone. 

Alderman Penn Lemoine said the village passed the ordinance because several residents had complained of, what the ordinance calls, “vicious” breeds roaming the streets. He said he believed there had been dog attacks but didn’t know if they had been documented.

“The breed is not vicious,” Owens said. “It's the owner. It is the way that you raise them.”

Armand said she is exploring ways that would allow the family to keep the dog.

“And I had asked the question, ‘Well what if I don't give you my dog?’” she said. “(Chief of Police) Scott Lemoine said they would come and get the dog and the dog would be disposed of and we would be fined.”

When asked what, specifically, was meant by the euphemism, “dispose,” Penn Lemoine answered: “I'd rather not elaborate on that.”

When asked if it meant the dogs would be killed he said: “If that's what the ordinance says, then that's what it says.”

Armand has begun a MoveOn.org petition to help save Zeus, according to Syracuse.com. The petition asks people to support overturning the so-called breed specific legislation. More than 140,000 people have signed the petition so far. 

Penn Lemoine said village officials might consider changing the ordinance if there is enough opposition. 

Sources: KALB, MoveOn.org, Syracuse.com / Photo Credit: Facebook: Saving Zeus