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Arkansas-Batesville Council To Hear Pit Bull Concerns

Discussion in 'Breed Specific Legislation' started by Vicki, May 8, 2007.

  1. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Administrator

    Council to hear pit bull concerns
    By Andrea Bruner, Assistant Managing Editor
    News | Published on Monday May 7, 2007
    Batesville has a bigger problem with pit bulls than any other breed of dog; in fact, Animal Control Officer Jeff Pender says 60 percent of his nuisance dog calls are about pit bulls.
    Tuesday night, the Batesville City Council is scheduled to hear from Pender, who will bring a proposed ordinance that would limit the number of pit bull terriers and pit bull mixes an owner may keep (and they must be spayed or neutered) and prevent others from moving in. This, he said, would eventually lead to no pit bulls in the city.
    However, there may be some resistance on the city council, as some aldermen say the city already has a vicious animal ordinance.
    Pender said the vicious animal ordinance defines such an animal as one that “has a known disposition or tendency to attack, to cause injury or to otherwise endanger the safety of human beings or domestic animals; however, the fact that an animal has bitten or attempted to bite some person that was teasing the animal shall not constitute the animal a vicious animal within the meaning of this ordinance.â€
    Batesville city code prohibits vicious animals.
    Pender said the vicious animal ban is not enough; the current code targets those already “known,†not the ones that “could.â€
    Too many, he said, can get off their chains. The proposed ordinance would require a minimum of a 10-by-10-foot (per animal) chain link pen with a lock.
    “I get calls from the post office and the public†about pit bulls, more than any other breed, Pender said.
    “More of my neglect and abuse cases are pit bulls. More of my aggressive dog calls are pit bulls. More of my running at large cases are pit bulls,†he continued.
    “When I get a call after hours or on weekends, it’s for pit bulls. Most of the common house dogs, people aren’t afraid of.â€
    He said there was a case recently on Rounds Road, outside the city limits, in which a 4-year-old girl was attacked by a pit bull and required multiple stitches on her face. There have been other instances of attacks in this county and others, Pender said.
    Pender, who raised pit bulls himself for about 20 years, also said not all of Batesville’s pit bulls are bad, but they are a big concern. “I have folks that have good dogs, but they’re (owned by) good folks. And then I have dogs that are bad. ... It’s all in how they’re raised.â€
    He’s seen five or six dogs kept in a yard barely big enough for two, he added. There have also been instances of illegal dog fighting, he said, but he has yet to have enough evidence to prosecute. Still, he can tell by wounds, cuts and scars on some pit bulls’ faces.
    Pit bulls have been a problem “since the day I took the job†in April 2002, he said.
    For now, though, Pender stressed this is not a total ban; it would start out by limiting the number of pit bulls one owner or household can have to two.
    “I’m trying to control the population,†he told the Guard. “I didn’t want to draw a line in the sand and say, ‘No more pit bulls,’ ... (but) I didn’t want them running rampant. ...
    “I’m just trying to take better control of the animals I have. ... If I don’t take a stand now and somebody gets hurt in the city, that doesn’t say much for me.â€
    Furthermore, if the council passes the ordinance, no more pit bulls would be allowed to be brought into the city.
    The council will meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in city hall.
    The agenda also includes utilities business, consideration of the city’s joining the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System, presentations from James Brazier regarding broadband wireless and Dustin Wish regarding Indco.net and a review of bills.
    Any citizen may address the council with comments or concerns under the “Comments from Citzens†portion of the agenda.

  2. DryCreek

    DryCreek Little Dog

  3. Turner

    Turner Good Dog

    Arent they all? Hope all goes well...
  4. bahamutt99

    bahamutt99 Stealth ninja

    Batesville decided against BSL at their meeting, but they could probably use some encouragement in passing stronger laws to make their citizens happy.

    Here are email contacts:

    CIty Clerk
    Denise M. Johnston, City Clerk / Treasurer
    1167 E. College Street
    Batesville, AR 72501
    (870) 698-2400

    Rick Elumbaugh, Mayor
    #1 Lake Oak Drive
    Batesville, AR 72501
    (870) 612-7946mayor@cityofbatesville.com

    City Attorney
    Scott Stalker, City Attorney
    480 S. 23rd Street
    Batesville, AR 72501
    (870) 612-5569

    City Council

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