By Rebecca Fiedler
Students wanting to bring their German shepherd or Doberman pinscher on campus for a game of fetch and walk through Fountain Mall may want to reconsider. According to risk management policy, these breeds are forbidden at Baylor.
Baylor risk management policy states that pit bulls, rottweilers, German shepherds, Doberman pinschers and mixes of any of these breeds are not allowed on campus, even when leashed.
Saratoga, Calif., senior Gracie Cousins lives off campus with her female German shepherd Willa whom she bought from a Waco breeder.
Cousins said whenever people see Willa out and about, some will run up to pet her, while some will move to the other side of the street. Cousins said Willa, however, is friendly and not aggressive.
“German shepherds are considered an aggressive breed mainly because they are very protective,” Cousins said. “It’s their instinct to protect. When a drunk guy tried to break into my apartment, my dog almost broke down the door to get him away from me. But at the same time, I’ve put her with little kids. I’ve had her work with handicapped kids. I wanted to make her a therapy dog. I have no problems with this dog.”
The policy first came about in 2009, with the purpose of protecting students on campus from dog breeds with a history of dangerous behavior. Baylor Police Chief Jim Doak said Baylor police are not strict on breed control on a daily basis but rather during events with large crowds such as Diadeloso.
“It’s not something we spend a lot of time on,” Doak said. “We’re not on dog patrol. Officers are not looking for dog violations.”
Baylor police have made people with pit bulls leave Diadeloso with their dogs.
“How many times have you heard of a golden retriever attacking someone?” Doak said. “And how many times have you heard of a pit bull attacking? It’s as different as night and day.”
Doak said generally on campus police officers will ask students with any breed of dog to leash their dog, as allowing dogs to run free on campus is forbidden.
Cousins said she thinks the policy could be amended, but she can understand that Baylor has to look out for liability.
“I think there’s a lot of history behind the rule to reinforce it, but it’s not a reflection of the dogs themselves,” she said. “It’s a reflection of the handlers and the type of dog the owner wanted.”
Schertz senior Kimani Mitchell is a student senator and has been researching the policy and its enforcement. Mitchell said she feels leash laws should be enforced.
“It’s against Texas law to let your dog be off a leash, running at large,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell said her main concern is with pets on campus that have not been spayed or neutered.
“Males who aren’t neutered may assert their dominance,” she said. “They may fight over a non-fixed female in the area.”
A Waco city ordinance states that all cats and dogs must be spayed or neutered, and Mitchell said she would like to see Baylor work along the lines of the ordinance.
“I think breed restriction is really too aggressive for Baylor right now,” Mitchell said. “I would rather start with unaltered animals being banned and move from there.”