At their meeting on September 3, 2013, city officials in Camanche, Iowa discussed the idea of banning or regulating pit bulls in the city limits. City Attorney Thomas Lonergan originally brought up the issue at the August 6 meeting. At that time, he asked the council to consider an adjustment to the current ordinance that would “grandfather in a rule banning pit bulls.” He wanted the issue added to this week’s council agenda based on incidents that occurred in the city of Clinton, Iowa - not the city of Camanche. According to the city council meeting minutes, Mr. Lonergan advised the council that the city’s current dangerous dog ordinance is not sufficient.
The proposal received mixed reviews from the council members. Some spoke out against a breed specific ordinance, others suggested the current vicious dog ordinance could be strengthened and stricter punishments doled out for irresponsible dog owners.
Mr. Lonergan didn’t ask the council to act on anything at Tuesday’s meeting, but he strongly urged council members to consider the option of a pit bull ban “before an incident happens that will force them into action.”
In the end, the council decided to take a look at the current vicious dog ordinance to see what could be done to create stricter rules and punishments before moving forward with an ordinance banning the breed. City Attorney Lonergran was directed to research how the current ordinance could be made stronger.
Considering Mr. Lonergan initiated and appears to be pushing the discussion towards a breed specific ordinance, residents should be on alert.
RESIDENTS OF CAMANCHE are strongly encouraged to reach out to their city officials with breed-neutral suggestions and alternatives to strengthen the city’s current dangerous dog ordinance. In addition, residents will want to attend upcoming city council meetings to monitor this situation. Council meetings take place the first and third Tuesday of the month. Meetings start at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall, 917 3rd Street.