Vicious Dog Ordinance Passed by Council Replacing Pit Bull Ban, Adding Tethering Requirements
GOLF MANOR (10/01/2018) – Golf Manor Village Council passed Ordinance 2018 – 15 after three readings on September 26. The new Ordinance amends sections of the Village code regulating the tethering of dogs outside, keeping dogs in extreme weather conditions, and converts the previous ban on Pit Bull breed specific dogs into requirements to control all vicious dogs.
This revision will allow residents of the Village to keep dogs of the Pit Bull breed, but includes required control and precautions of any dog that is considered vicious and exhibits aggressive behavior.
Council has recognized that dog attacks can be a real and serious problem, but addressing dangerous and potentially dangerous dogs can be a confusing and touchy issue. Breed-specific legislation (BSL) is the blanket term used for laws that either regulate or ban certain dog breeds in an effort to decrease dog attacks on humans and other animals. However, the problem of dangerous dogs has not been remedied by BSL laws. Enforcement of such bans have become problematic for police departments as identifying a breed requires specific knowledge of many breeds and in many cases a DNA test.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has strongly opposed BSL legislation, along with other animal control agencies such as the Hamilton County SPCA. Many factors beyond breed may affect a dog’s tendency toward aggression—things such as heredity, sex, early experience, reproductive status, socialization and training. Conversely, studies can be referenced that point to clear, positive effects of carefully crafted breed-neutral laws. A breed-neutral approach may include the following:
- Enhanced enforcement of dog license laws
- Increased availability to low-cost sterilization (spay/neuter) services
- Dangerous dog laws that are breed-neutral and focus on the behavior of the individual guardian and dog
- Graduated penalties and options for dogs deemed dangerous
- Laws that hold dog guardians financially accountable for failure to adhere to animal control laws
- Laws that hold dog guardians civilly and criminally liable for unjustified injuries or damage caused by their dogs
- Laws that prohibit chaining, tethering and unreasonable confinement, coupled with enhanced enforcement of animal cruelty and animal fighting laws
- Community-based approaches to resolving reckless guardian/dangerous dog questions that encompass all stakeholders, available dog bite data and recommended realistic and enforceable policies
Golf Manor’s revised legislation focuses on animal owner responsiblity and control of all breeds of dogs at all times. The new ordinance also allows law enforcement officials the ability to be more comprehensive in their actions to address issues related to vicious dogs.
This article is provided as a quick summary. The full text of the legislation and mandatory requirements can be read here.