MOUNT HOLLY – The town senior planner told city council members Monday, May 24, that a proposed plan to ban certain dog breeds would be a “slippery slope” and place undue burden on the city’s police department.
Senior Planner Greg Beal gave a staff presentation on a “breed specific” ordinance that would prevent residents from owning certain types of dogs in the city limits. The council requested the information after a local resident was attacked by a pit bull mix in April.
Beal said the ordinance, while having good intentions, is difficult to enforce and wouldn’t resolve the issue. Any dog can attack a person, he said, and if council members start banning one breed, they’ll end up banning all breeds.
“It becomes a slippery slope,” he said. “The CDC, AKC, Humane Society and ASPCA all oppose this type of legislation and all offer convincing facts to support their reasoning.”
Nationwide, 256 municipalities and counties have adopted a form of breed specific legislation, Beal said.
Gaston County handles animal control issues throughout the county, including Mount Holly. If the city enacted breed specific legislation, it would become Mount Holly’s responsibility to enforce it, Beal said.
That would require hiring at least one animal control officer, and the city would not be guaranteed space at the Gaston County Animal Shelter for confiscated animals.
Beal encouraged council members to talk with Gaston County Animal Control and develop an understanding of the city’s current needs as it relates to dangerous dogs and what the county can do to help.