State House committee kills pit bull ban, passes higher penalties for owners

Wednesday, February 22nd 2006, 4:53 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A proposed ban on pit bull terriers and other dogs considered dangerous was overwhelmingly defeated by a state House committee.

The House Health and Human Services Committee killed the measure by Moore state Representative Paul Wesselhoft 18-to-1 Tuesday. The bill would ban dangerous dogs with no registration certificate and require dogs with certificates to be placed in secure areas.

Wesselhoft named the measure Cody's Law after 3-year-old Moore resident Cody Yelton, whose left arm was amputated at the shoulder following an attack by a pit bull in June.

In a separate incident six months later, 4-year-old Cody Tyler Adair died when he was attacked by a pit bull at his uncle's home in Bartlesville.

Committee members expressed misgivings about the bill, particularly its definition of a dangerous dog, which is described as one that is characterized by physical strength, a muscular body, and powerful jaws.

The committee voted 15-to-4 for a separate measure that increases penalties for dog owners whose pets attack people.