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Dangerous dogs topic of public hearing

Several citizens, including owners of pit bull dogs, provided input and advice during a public discussion of a proposed dangerous dog ordinance at Thursday night's Arkadelphia City Board meeting.

The discussion began with comments from Dr. James Waymack, a local veterinarian. "Any dog of any size can be dangerous," he said. He said he didn't want to discourage anyone from having a dog, but he also admitted that "no dog is worth a child being injured or killed."

Duane Taylor, a pit bull owner, agreed with Waymack. "It's all in how you raise" the dogs. He urged the board to consider an ordinance that dealt with all dogs, not singling out one breed over others. "Chihuahuas can be dangerous, especially if there's more than one," Taylor said.

Manuel Urban said he raises pit bulls for sale, and he's never been bitten by one. Urban said he does not believe in chaining dogs. "Chains make them mean." He also recommends that others who sell the dogs restrict their sales to persons who will be good pet owners. "You have to spend a lot of time with them. It takes a big commitment to be a responsible owner." He recommended limiting the sale of pit bulls to persons over 18 who can commit the amount of time and effort needed to properly care for pit bulls.

Both Taylor and Urban agreed that dog owners should be held responsible for their pets' behavior. "If a dog bites someone, something should be done to the owner," Taylor said.

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