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Memphis Considers Changes to Dangerous Dog Law

In late July, a 71-year-old Memphis man died from injuries suffered in a pit bull attack. Two paramedics attempting to treat the man, as well as the man’s daughter, also suffered dog bite injuries.

In June, a Memphis woman was injured while attempting to protect her toddler from a pit bull. The woman and her German Sheppard fought off the pit bull and saved her child. She suffered injuries to her leg.

In May, a South Memphis man was attacked by two pit bulls while out for a morning walk. Neighbors helped fight the dogs off and police captured the animals shortly after the attack.

Prompted by these and other recent attacks in the city, the Memphis City Council is considering an ordinance which would require dogs weighing 30 pounds or more to be spayed or neutered. Studies cited by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals indicate that an early spay or neuter can help stop problems with overly aggressive animals and breeds.

A separate ordinance would also require dogs that have bitten or attacked a person or been found running loose two times to be spayed or neutered as well. The ordinance would also levy a $50 fine on pet owners for failing to control the animal after an attack.

Though some have argued that the new ordinances will unfairly burden low-income pet owners, the Councilman who introduced the ordinance, Shea Flinn, says that the goal is to hold pet owners accountable and protect the public. According to a Fox News affiliate in Memphis, a similar ordinance was under consideration in January of this year, but the Council did not vote on the issue.