Meghan Kalkstein
February 28, 2009

PORTLAND, Ore. – A new bill on pit bulls that hasn’t even hit the Senate floor yet is already getting a lot of heat from folks on both side of the issue.

Under a bill from Sen. Bruce Starr’s office, owning a pit bull would be illegal in Oregon and the state would punish those who own one by euthanizing the dog, slapping the owner with thousands of dollars in fines and perhaps even throwing them in jail.  And if your pit bull killed someone?  Then you could be fined $125,000, spend five years in jail or both.

Those who already own a pit bull would be grandfathered in, so to speak.  They would have to obtain a permit to keep the pit bull (for a fee) and provide a certificate from a veterinarian showing that the dog had been sterilized.

Here is the summary that is laid out in the draft of the bill:

Prohibits keeping of pit bull. Creates exception for pit bulls currently in state upon meeting certain conditions.  Declares pit bull dangerous dog and makes keeping of pit bull punishable by euthanization of dog and by maximum of $6,250 fine, one year’s imprisonment, or both.  If dog kills person, punishes by maximum of $125,000 fine, five years’ imprisonment, or both. Read the entire bill (pdf)

The bill has not had a first reading on the Senate floor yet.  That is expected in a week or two.

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