At this week’s Police Jury Public Works Committee meeting, a group of pit bull terrier owners gathered in the Police Jury meeting room Wednesday night to voice their concern about trying to ban pit bulls from Vermilion Parish.
Police Juror Errol Domingues requested attorney Paul Moresi III to research if it was possible to ban just pit bulls from the parish.
Moresi informed the Police Jury about his findings at the meeting.
“My concern is not that a ban would violate federal constitutional rights for those who own or wish to own pit bulls,” Moresi said. “The Police Jury can only do what state law says it can do. State law defines dangerous and vicious dogs. It all has to do with the conduct of a specific dog if it attacks a person or pet. It depends on the conduct of that particular dog rather than a whole breed of dogs.”
Moresi did not think that banning an entire breed would be constitutional in Louisiana.
The parish does have a ordinance in place for vicious dogs and not breeds. Vicious dogs, such as pit bulls, have to be kept away from the public and in kennels. If vicious dogs leave their kennels and property, they have to be on a leash and muzzled.
Abbeville Police Chief Rick Coleman said Abbeville has plenty of pit bulls.
“The problem is not the pit bulls, it is the owners of the dogs,” Coleman said.
The Abbeville Police Department recently trained two officers to handle dogs when the police are called for a dog problem.
Officers Ray Captiville and Nick Picard are the newly trained officers. Coleman said these two officers are not dog catchers who are there to remove the dogs. They are trained to deal with the owners of the dogs and not the dogs.