American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers and Pit Bull Terriers – collectively referred to as ‘pit bulls’- have often been negatively stereotyped. They are among the ‘usual suspects’ when people think of dog attacks or dog bites and, according to the city dog ordinance of Des Moines, the breed by definition is ‘high risk’.
Pit Bull enthusiasts are not happy with the negative, breed specific language used by the city. They feel strongly that a canine’s behavior should be the focus when considering whether a dog is vicious – not the breed.
However, some who have been victims of a dog bite attack beg to differ. After suffering sometimes permanent injury or disfiguration, dog bite victims feel that the ordinance may protect others from what may be a potentially aggressive breed of dog.
For now, the Des Moines animal ordinance designates these breeds as high risk dogs:
- Any dog which has bitten or attacked a human being or domestic animal one or more times, without provocation;
- Any dog with a history, tendency or disposition to attack, to cause injury or to otherwise endanger the safety of human beings or domestic animals;
- Any dog that snaps, bites, or manifests a disposition to snap or bite;
- Any dog that has been trained for dog fighting, animal fighting or animal baiting or is owned or kept for such purposes;
- Any dog trained to attack human beings, upon command or spontaneously in response to human activities, except dogs owned by and under the control of the police department, a law enforcement agency of the state or of the United States or a branch of the armed forces of the United States;
- Staffordshire terrier breed of dog;
- The American pit bull terrier breed of dog;
- The American Staffordshire terrier breed of dog; or
- Any dog which has the appearance and characteristics of being predominately of the breeds of Staffordshire terrier, American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier.
The City of Des Moines Ordinance states that an application to license a high risk dog must include “the presentation by the applicant of a certificate of insurance issued by an insurance company licensed to do business in this state, providing personal liability insurance coverage as in a homeowner’s policy, with a minimum liability amount of $100,000.00 for the injury or death of any person, for damage to property of others and for acts of negligence by the owner or his or her agents, in the keeping or owning of such high risk dog”.
Contact an Experienced Des Moines Dog Bite Attorney
Perhaps it’s a ‘bad rap’ for the breed and those who love them, but dog bites can be serious and lead to costly medical care for the victims. Raising awareness about the danger of dog attacks and holding owners responsible may reduce dog bite incidences. If you have been the victim of a Iowa dog attack, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries. Contact an experienced Des Moines dog bite attorney at Stoltze & Stoltze PLC for help if you or if you or a loved one has been hurt today.