"I love dogs as much as the next person," Superintendent Larry Glaze said. "I grew up with a dog and I have a dog in my home now. I just feel that we should use common sense when bringing animals into schools."
The Blue Mountain Humane Association President says that this is dog discrimination because animals should not be judged based on their breed.
"We will not be providing dog bite-safety instruction in the La Grande School District," she said. "A breed ban is wrong, it is unfair. We feel that we need to take a stand. We should not be condemning a dog just because of its breed."
The school offers a dog bite safety course sponsored by the animal shelter and conducted with animal control officers. The pit bull used in the course is banned from the school premises. The pit bull named Bomani is owned by deputy Blaylock with the animal enforcement division of the Union County Sheriff’s Department. Last week, Glaze ordered the dog out while the deputy was teaching a course.
"He is absolutely wonderful around children," Blaylock said.
Glaze said he approves of bite-safety courses, but he said they could continue only with a gentler breed.
2010 Dog Bite Attack Statistics
• In 2010, there were 33 fatal dog attacks.
• Pit bulls lead dog attacks and are responsible for 67% of the fatalities.
• In 2010, the combination of pit bulls (22) and rottweilers (4) accounted for 79% of all fatal attacks. In the 6-year period from 2005 to 2010, this same combination accounted for 71% (129) of the total recorded deaths (181).
• From 2005 to 2010, pit bull killed 104 Americans, about one person every 21 days.
• Male represented about 60% of the victims in these attacks.
• The state of California led fatalities in 2010 with 7 deaths; pit bulls contributed to 83% (6). Florida followed with 3 deaths and Georgia, Illinois, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas each had 2 deaths.