Humane Officer Says Pit Bulls Are 'Maligned' As Vicious

Michael Locklear
Lu Wu

Updated Wed, May 23, 2012 7:53 am

An officer with the Humane Society of the Ohio Valley says he's seen a better response toward pit bulls now that they're no longer considered vicious in the Buckeye State.

Butch Morris works out of Washington County.

"A lot of dogs like the pit bulls were maligned as all being vicious," Morris said. "We handle a lot of pit bulls in Washington County, and very few of them are actually what we would term aggressive. I've put down a lot of pit bulls just because they were pit bulls."

The new measure that took effect Tuesday removes the reference to pit bulls from the definition of a "vicious dog."

Morris says the Humane Society had trouble placing the dogs because they were deemed a vicious breed.

He says people couldn't afford the high cost of insuring the pit bulls.

"Well, I think now that this law has passed, it'll be easier to get pit bull dogs into homes and into caring homes just for the simple fact that now they're not dangerous by breed," Morris said.

Morris says how the dog is raised determines its level of aggression more so than its breed.

Athens County Dog Warden Jeff Koons says pit bulls in the dog shelter had to be kenneled or locked prior to Tuesday. They also had to carry $100,000 worth of liability insurance.

Some dog wardens oppose the new changes in the law because of frequent pit bull attacks while others support it.