Dog Control: Background Checks, Classes, & Permits

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by Morgan Fogarty
Bio | Email | Follow: @morganfogarty by Photographer Billy Carrier

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - State Rep Rodney Moore, a Democrat, is the man behind House Bill 956, a bill that's intent, he says, has been misconstrued.  It identifies five different "aggressive" dog breeds: pit bull, rottweiler, mastiff, chow and perro de presa canario.

The bill proposes that prospective owners would have to get a state and federal criminal background check, enroll in a four hour responsible ownership class, notify their insurance company and apply for a 25 dollar permit. 

Moore says, "This is not a bill to try to discriminate against any breed, this was more of an owner responsibility bill."  He says the bill's also intended to help people get insurance rate breaks.  Moore, who's owned pit bulls in the past, says he didn't choose the breeds on the list.  He says, "I didn't specifically identify them, that's the information I got from the insurance industry about what's on their list."

Moore says the bill won't be heard this session.  He wants to engage stakeholders like pit bull advocate Mike Davis in conversation.  Davis is the president of the National American Pit Bull Association.  Davis says, "It's not gonna change anything because the irresponsible owners that have the problems with these breeds and other breeds are not gonna follow these rules, therefore the problem's not gonna go away."

Davidson resident Tiffany Taylor owns one year old English mastiff Kane.  She was surprised to see the breed on the bill's list and says, "So many of the different kinds of mastiffs are known as gentle giants."  Taylor says bill 956 focuses on the wrong element.  She says, "Go after an individual owner, dog by dog basis, (it has) nothing to do with what kind of breed it is."

Moore, who represents Mecklenburg county, tells WCCB News a constituent brought the idea for this bill to him, but he declined to identify that person.  Moore says he now wants to focus on jobs and education.

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