City Council Hears Vicious Dog Ordinance, but Takes No ActionJune 27th, 2013 by Sarah Spencer
The ordinance would not ban any specific breed from the city. It would, however provide requirements for owners of Pit Bulls that go beyond the requirements for owners of other dog breeds.
Anyone owning a Pit Bull in the city limits would be required to be 21 years of age or older. All Pit Bull breeds would be required to be spayed or neutered, unless it can be demonstrated that they are registered show dogs actively being shown, with AKC and UKC being the two recognized registries. All Pit Bull owners would be required to have a valid city license for their dog, proof of rabies and other vaccinations. The owner would further be required to have their Pit Bull registered with the City, to pay an additional registration fee, to have a valid Pit Bull registration number assigned by the City, have their current address on file with the City, and to notify the City within 10 days of any change of address or location of the dog, and to notify the City if the dog dies. The owner would not be permitted to sell or give the dog to anyone other than a member of their household or a person living outside the City of Monticello.
The ordinance sets forth a number of definitions, including a definition of the requirements for proving that a dog, specifically bulldog breed, is a registered show dog. It defines “dangerous dog” and “vicious dog” as well. It outlines requirements for housing and maintaining a “dangerous dog”, as well as outlining actions authorities may take in dealing with these dogs.
As explained to the Council, a dog is considered dangerous either by its demonstrated actions, or by the fact that it is a Pit Bull breed. As explained to the Council, a dog is considered vicious either by its demonstrated actions, or by the fact that it is a Pit Bull breed.
Members of the Council expressed concern that individual dogs would be defined as vicious simply because of their breed, regardless of the individual dog’s actual temperament or training. The Council also expressed concern that a dog being provoked might unfairly be considered vicious.
According to this ordinance, the definition for “dangerous dog” would include 1.) a dog which without provocation attacks or bites a person engaged in lawful activity; 2.) attacks or bites another domestic animal; 3.) exhibits a tendency to attack, cause injury or threaten the safety of persons or other animals without provocation; 4.) chases, confronts or approaches a person in a menacing fashion when off its owner’s property; 5.) acts in a manner that causes, or should cause, its owner to know that it is potentially vicious; 6.) is a Pit Bull as defined in this ordinance.
A “vicious dog” is defined by this ordinance as any dog which 1.) causes death or serious injury to a person engaged in lawful activity; 2.) attacks or bites without provocation and with such severity as to cause physical injury or property damage to a person on two or more occasions within a 12 month period; 3.) while off the owner’s property, seriously injures or kills another domesticated animal without provocation; 4.) is trained for dog fighting, or is kept for the purpose of dog fighting.
The ordinance outlines housing for dogs that are defined as “dangerous dogs”. They must be kept either indoors, or in an enclosed and locked pen or physical structure with a securely attached top. If the pen has no bottom secured to the sides, the ground beneath the gate must be secured with imbedded posts. The sides of the pen must be imbedded into the ground no less than one foot deep; if the pen’s bottom is concrete, the sides must be imbedded only 2 inches deep into the concrete. All pens must have adequate light, and be kept in sanitary conditions.
The ordinance would further require that during times the dog is not confined, a “dangerous dog” must be securely muzzled and restrained by a chain or leash and under the physical restraint of a person capable of restraining the dog.
The owner would also be required to prominently display signs on premises warning that there is a dangerous animal on premises. A similar sign would be required to be posted on each side of the dog’s pen or kennel.
This ordinance would not allow an animal that is considered vicious to be kept within the city limits.
After considerable discussion a motion was made to vote on the ordinance, but there was no second made, so the ordinance was tabled for further consideration.
Vicious Dog Ordinance on City Council Agenda
June, 25, 2013
In a recent City Council meeting, the Humane Society’s Ruby Burton estimated that there are 400-500 pit bulls in East End, with many of them being hid by their owners. She also mentioned a problem with pit bulls in the Indian Mounds area.
A local child had her ankle broken and other injuries, last December, in an incident covered statewide TV.
Garland County is currently considering restriction on the animals, there, following a chil’s death from a dog attack, last week.
Burton also told the council that most of these dogs are in a state of neglect by their owners, and recommended the city ban pit bulls (and other vicious dogs) from the city, or require them to be registered and carry a $100,000 insurance policy. Any dog, regardless of breed can be a “vicious dog” based on it’s own actions and history.
After researching other cities’ policies, and the legal aspects involved, the Monticello City Council will consider imposing restrictions on “vicious dogs” in their meeting, tonight.
The meeting is at City Hall, starting at 6 pm.
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