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Unregistered pit bulls off-base concern Okinawa City mayor

Date Posted: 2009-06-11

American pit bull terriers have a reputation for unprovoked attacks on people, and Okinawa City’s mayor is fearful such animals in her town could do the same.

Mayor Mitsuko Tomon notes attacks happen 3-4 times each year, and that a few years ago a young girl was attacked by a pit bull and subsequently died, leaving her concerned. She says she’s addressed the issue to the U.S. military, asking what “the military people are doing raising pit bulls.” She questions what the military’s position is, and is taking her questions to the military’s general officer in charge.

An incident on May 4th has triggered the latest worries, when the American military notified the Okinawa City police that “two pit bull shave escaped from a home locted in Matasumoto area. Please catch them.” Tomon’s police officers did, with help from 15 staff members from the city office and Okinawa Prefecture, apprehending the fugitive dogs in about seven hours.

“We want to ask the military if they have regulations for raising petts, and if the military has a grasp on who the masters are,” tomon says. “If they don’t, we want to ask for improvement.” The Okinawa City Office says 5,559 dogs are registered with the city, including 12 pit bulls. None of the animals registered are from American military personnel, although, she says, everyone knows there are animals owned by military families living in her city.

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