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Middlebourne Council Votes To Amend Dog Ordinance

By Staff | Jul 15, 2015

Middlebourne Council met on Monday, July 13, where members of council voted to amend dog ordinance.

Council at last months regular meeting passed the first reading of a Dog Control Ordinance which specified in section one, paragraph two, dangerous and vicious dogs to include breeds with the blood of Pit-bull or Rottweiler.

At Monday’s meeting, Middlebourne resident Jennifer Negie, spoke to council about her concerns with the ordinance. She said she felt it was discriminatory against the two breeds and she wanted to address the issue of muzzles. Negie had went online and done some research from the American Veterinary Association and other groups and she wanted to share what she had found out about making ordinances about specific breeds. She said one thing she has found is it is very easy for someone to misidentify a dog, and just because it is a big dog a lot of times people think it is a Pit- bull when it really is not. She also quoted some statistics from 1990-1995 which she said was a little outdated but she said talking about Rottweilers they didn’t come into the top dog biters until the late 1990’s early 2000’s.

“Denver where Pit-bulls are banned, the largest amount of dog bites came from German Shepherds and Chows,” Negie said.

She said what that say’s to her is even if you specify certain breeds there is still going to be dog bites.

“Just because a Pit-bull is banned doesn’t mean another dog is not going to bit,” she said. “Obviously the smaller dog will do less damage, however any dog can bite, any dog depending on how they are treated and how they are raised.” she said.

She mentioned what she felt was a better solution than muzzling would be for owners to color code their dog’s harness such as yellow for caution, green for safe, red for dangerous. She left a copy of her research with council.

Betty Burkett, from Moundsville, she also spoke against specifying specific breeds as dangerous or vicious as part of an ordinance. She quoted some statistics from certain groups found on the web, and presented council with a copy of a ordinance from Marshall county. She spoke about the cost associated with enforcing a specific breed ordinance.

After listening to the presentations, Mayor Delauder recommended leaving the ordinance the same but eliminating the language in the ordinance specifying Pit-bull and Rottweiler Breeds. Council then unanimously approved a motion to allow town attorney Gary Rymer to rewrite the ordinance to exclude the specific breed language.

The second reading of the ordinance will be held at the next regular meeting on the second Monday in August at 7 p.m.