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Ill. may allow species-specific dog ban

Feb. 22, 2005 at 2:50 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Feb. 22 (UPI) -- An Illinois lawmaker is working to strike down his state's prohibition against localities banning or regulating specific dog breeds.

Rep. Jerry Mitchell, R-Sterling, wants to overturn the state's 2-year-old law that keeps localities from acting against pit bulls, Rottweilers and other breeds that frighten people, the Chicago Sun-Times said Tuesday.

Mitchell's proposal comes three weeks after a 14-year-old girl was found dead near her home. Three pit bulls and a mixed-breed canine had mauled her late at night, and she died of hypothermia as she lay in a field.

The Chaplin incident and others convinced Mitchell genetics play some role.

"If it's all just the training humans give them, I guess then, why do we not take wolf cubs and make pets out of them?" he said.

But opponents of his agenda say he is barking up the wrong tree.

"Canine profiling doesn't work. It's a knee-jerk reaction," said Ledy VanKavage, lobbyist for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

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