February 18, 2005

"Lydia's Law"

It seem that like lemmings, lawmakers stampede to be the first to propose some new law after tragedies that tug at the heartstring. The recent death of Lydia Chaplin of rural Erie apparently is no exception. While one would be hard pressed to imagine a more gruesome and horrible death, attempts to prevent it happening again are subject to debate.
Lawmakers are now scrambling to research the issue and get their name on some law that will capitalize on this horrid tragedy for their own aggrandizement.

Jerry Mitchell R-Rock Falls is first out of the gate with a proposal that involves allowing local government the right to enact breed specific ordinances and laws. Boland is also trying to get in the act.

It so happened that three of the four dogs involved were Pit Bulls, so I guess the thinking is if you somehow register or license Pit Bulls, then dog maulings will be reduced or eliminated. This seems like yet another band-aid solution which will have little if any effect on the problem, would likely have not prevented the tragedy which the pols are exploiting, and which usually involve imposing yet another fee or tax. And what about chihuahua's with nasty attitudes? What if someone attempts to evade the ordinances by breeding a Pit Chihuahua? Who's going to protect us from them?

Lease laws were already on the books in the area of the attack, and as long as dogs either are allowed to roam, or escape, the potential for an attack is always there. Laws on paper can only go so far, though perhaps it's worth doing at least something, no matter how marginal. But the Pavlovian response of politicians to capitalize on every tragedy really sticks in my craw.

Thorough Quad City Times article at links above and below...

> MORE <


At 2/18/2005 1:46 PM, Anonymous Petroleum V. Nasby said...

It's like the city that puts up a stop light only after there's a horrendous accident where children are killed. Government by crisis with no original ideas.

At 2/19/2005 11:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those dogs should never be allowed to run free. Period. End of story.

If animals are capable of killing a teenage girl in our community, they should not be running free.

At 2/20/2005 12:28 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Of course you're correct. But I think it doesn't accomplish much to state the obvious. The reality is, how in the world do you somehow ensure that no dogs ever run free? All government can do is enact ordinances and then enforce them.
I don't think they currently are in many areas. But even if they were strictly enforced, there will ALWAYS be dogs running loose, either from negligent owners, the dogs escaping, or simply due to the large amount of abandoned and stray dogs.
Those are the facts, so it would appear that beyond ticketing a few owners whose dogs get caught running free, there is really nothing that can practically be done to make it impossible that someone might get attacked.
Try a google search on "dog mauling" and get a taste of how often this happens across the country.

At 2/20/2005 7:41 PM, Blogger Dissenter said...

There are many in Whiteside County who support HB 1128. I am not among them.

Pit bulls, Rottweillers, Dobermans, and German Shepards are the usual suspects, not because they as a breed suffer from some innate rage disorder, but because they are possessed of greater strength than other breeds of dog that have the same potential to be vicious, but lesser potential to cause harm with that viciousness. Breed-specific legislation is not reasonably tailored to the objective it seeks to promote. Rather than prohibit vicious dogs and negligent owners, it seeks to prohibit all of the dogs that have the strength to inflict severe injury, given the chance that a few of them might be vicious or neglected.

At 11/23/2007 5:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi i was a friend of lydia she was the most wounderful girl i know and will ever know! when this happend there was alot of stuff being said about these dogs two of them shocked me one was that he never feed them dog and the other one was he feed them meet and that was it. You have no idea how much this hurt our class mates just so happend i was in her class and she was like a sister to me she was a very nice youg lady i wish she was still here with me today
RIP babygirl love you and miss you with all my heart


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