A Louisiana town is putting its plan to ban pit bulls and Rottweilers on hold.
They say after an outcry from people around the world, they’re taking a step back to figure out what they should do next.
“Everybody always preaches don’t be racist against people and then now, you want to be racist against a certain type of dog?” said O’Hara Owens.
After their story spread, the family says they’ve heard from hundreds of thousands of people from all around the world.
However, they haven’t heard anything from Moreauville Town Hall.
“It’s gotten out of hand,” said Alderman Penn Lemoine.
Lemoine says the ordinance was passed because several residents were being chased by dogs in the neighborhood, but no attacks were documented.
Lemoine says they voted on what the people in town wanted, not the rest of the world.
“Oprah, I mean or Whoopi Goldberg, you know, that doesn’t mean anything to me,” he said. “Well, I mean, I’m concerned about the people that I represent.”
He says he believes there has been a misunderstanding because of the wording of the ordinance.
“We’ll just have to rewrite the letter. We’ll have to make it to where it’s not as blunt and heartless as it sounds,” he said.
Lemoine says they don’t want to kill anyone’s pet but believes something needs to be done.
“They elected me in this position and I owe it to them to make a judgement with their consideration and the consideration of the dog owners also,” he said.
Zeus’ family hopes that judgement is the right one.
“I’m pretty sure if they don’t overturn this, they’re gonna have a lot of angry people at them,” said Owens.
The veterinary clinics around town say they were completely unaware of the ban.
They say if it ever came to a matter of putting the dogs down, they would not participate.
Village leaders are now working to set up an emergency meeting about the ordinance.
MOREAUVILLE, La. (KALB) – A family in Louisiana is pleading with their town to overturn an ordinance that would force them to get rid of their beloved family pet.
On Oct. 13, Moreauville passed an ordinance that requires pit bull or Rottweiler owners to get rid of their pets by Dec. 1.
If they do not, the ordinance says they will be disposed.
O’Hara Owens is trying to spend as much time with Zeus as she can before the town takes him away from her.
“If anything ever happened to him, I would just shut down,” she said.
Owens suffers from severe neck problems and is forced to wear a halo brace and use a wheelchair.
She says Zeus acts as her “therapy dog.”
“I can sit here, if I’m in pain, he comes and he notices it before I even make any noise,” Owens said.
“The breed is not vicious,” she said. “It’s the owner. It is the way that you raise them.”
Owens’ parents tried to fight the ordinance but were outnumbered at the meeting.
They say no one has ever complained about their dog and he has never attacked anyone.
“I asked the question, ‘Well, what if I don’t give you my dog?’ Scott Lemoine said they would come and get the dog and dog would be disposed of and we would be fined,” said Joanna Armand, Owens’ mother.
City leaders say it was all in an effort to appease several residents.
“We had several residents that were complaining about not being able to walk along the neighborhoods because these dogs were basically running around town,” said Alderman Penn Lemoine.
When asked about dog attacks, Lemoine said, “There have been but I don’t think they’re documented.”
He refused to say the dogs would be killed, simply saying that the ordinance would be followed.
Lemoine says he owns a German Shepard but pit bulls and Rottweilers are the only dogs considered “vicious” under the ordinance.
“Like I told them, they’re going to have to take him from my cold, dead hands before they get a hold of him,” Owens said.
So far, a petition has earned 185,000 signatures against the ordinance.