Dog Ordinance Dies at Council
A major issue that has been the center of discussion at Middlebourne Council meetings have been the vicious dogs that are running at large in the area. At the last council meeting, a new ordinance was put into motion that will limit the amount of injuries from certain breeds, has died. At that meeting councilwoman Sue Pelikan, expressed concern over lack of language in the ordinance that would require specific breeds to be muzzled when out of an enclosure. She was also concerned about the amount of the fines for offenders of the ordinance.
In previous meetings, council chose to single out two breeds pitbulls and rottweilers. Some of the circumstance that went along with this ordinance includes larger fines, the owner taking more responsibility and giving the local police power to quartering and control the dog within corporation limits. The ordinance also states that the pitbull or rottweiler must be muzzled when he or she is out of an enclosed space. But a muzzle will not protect anyone if the animal gets out of its enclosure. Which ask the question of why not enforce requirements on the enclosures?
While some of these points of the ordinance do make sense in order to protect neighbors and resident, but singling out these two breeds just does not seem right. In the past a lot of injuries have been linked to pitbulls, but that is not always the case. When it comes to a dog bite, the size and the breed are not always large dogs or pitbulls. Small dogs can bite as well. The same goes for the dogs being muzzled. How fair is it that a calm, gentle natured dog is forced to wear a muzzle when it does not have a history of biting or attacking?
The parts that do make sense involves holding the owners responsible and giving the police more power. If the owners have a vicious dog of any breed, then it is their responsibility to make sure it stays in the enclosure, especially if the dog has a history. And if it takes higher fines to accomplish that, than that is what the town needs to do. Police should be given more power to handle these situations to prevent further injury.