Should we license owners instead of dogs?

Is this a dangerous dog breed, or are attacks caused by dangerous owners?

photo courtesy Wikipedia

After a vicious attack by two pit bulls on Chicago’s lakefront cost a 62-year-old man his left foot, there’s been much discussion in the Windy City about how to prevent a repeat in the future. Most of the time, regulations focus on the specific breed of the dogs who perpetrated the attack, which is why there are so many pit-bull bans in communities across the country. But dog lovers know that no specific breed is to blame. Now a Chicago alderman has introduced a resolution arguing that “any further regulation should continue to be not breed-specific, but owner/handler specific, such as licensing the owner rather than the animal” [emphasis added].

Ald. Bob Fioretti believes that licensing owners, rather than dogs, would allow the city to keep track of how many dogs each owner has. Plus, it would cut down on the number of unlicensed dogs. Fioretti also believes that aldermen should revisit an ordinance that would require owners to spay or neuter virtually all pets over six months old.

What do you think? Is this a reasonable way to make dog owners more responsible for the actions of their pets, or is this Orwellian government intrusion?

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