Pit bull problem in the parish

Last week the Vermilion Parish Sheriff Department picked up 18 pit bulls from a homeowner located north of Abbeville. Twelve of the dogs looked like they were bred for fighting, which has one police juror worried.

Of the dogs, 12 are adults and six are puppies, which are being housed in the Vermilion Parish Rabies and Animal Control Building.

An investigation has been launched to see if the owner was selling or fighting the pit bulls.

The animals were said to have been fed raw meat to make them mean.

Abbeville Police Juror Ron Darby has been fighting the issue of trying to ban pit bulls altogether in the parish. He wants to make owning a pit bull illegal but Police Jury attorney Paul Moresi III advised against it.

Darby has noticed an increase of pit bull owners and pit bulls in Abbeville. In his district, a resident and a pit bull had a close call.

“The lady called, crying, asking me what the Police Jury is going to do about pit bulls,” said Darby. “The dogs were from South Young and they went to South Bailey street into the neighbor’s yard where the kids were playing. Just the other day on the news, a pit pull ate a little boy.

“We (the Police Jury) need to do something about that,” he added. “I have relatives who have pit bulls. If they violate the ordinance, prosecute them, don’t call me.”

Darby said the reason people own pit bulls is to use the dogs to fight.

Darby said fights occur in the country or on the back streets in the parish.

“It is a gambling thing,” he said. “They can’t fight roosters anymore, so now they fight pit bulls. You go in the country and you may find a dead pit bull along the side of the road. They shoot and kill the dogs if they don’t win.”

He said it is the owner who is making the dog mean. “They are training them to kill.” He worries if one of these dogs that are trained to kill, breaks free and attacks a person.

“I get a lot of phone calls from people in my district who are worried,” he added.

Stephen Menard, a warden for the rabies and animal control, has been handling pit bull calls. Counting the 18 pit bulls recently picked up, there are now 21 in cages at the rabies and control department.

“What the police jury does not understand, but Ron Darby understands, I spent my life chasing drug smugglers,” Menard said. “They have dogs in this town that have been established for a long time. They take the pit bull as a resemblance of a gang. They breed them here and they sell them.”

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