BSL ALERT: Marshfield, Wisconsin

The city of Marshfield, Wisconsin is considering an ordinance that would ban pit bulls in the city limits.

Please send your POLITE, RESPECTFUL and INFORMATIVE letters opposing breed specific legislation to the Marshfield city officials listed below. Please also include suggestions and viable alternatives for their consideration, as well. Remember to point out the problems associated with breed specific laws, such as the difficulty with breed identification. You will also want to encourage them to discuss the issue with their police chief, who is against BSL, as well as the police chief of Neillsville (a town only twenty miles away), who has acknowledged that despite having implemented BSL, the number of dog bites in Neillsville has not been reduced.

You can find talking points and additional suggestions to fight breed specific legislation at Defending Dog (www.defendingdog.com).

Link to council agendas and minutes:
http://ci.marshfiel d.wi.us/clerk/ notices/

Mayor Chris Meyer
mayor@ci.marshfield .wi.us

City Council member e-mail addresses
kfeirer@verizon. net,feddick@ tznet.com, dlafont@charter. net,district4@ ci.marshfield. wi.us,
district5@ci. marshfield. wi.us,district6@ ci.marshfield. wi.us,district8@ ci.marshfield. wi.us,
tombuttke@verizon. net,pohendler@ hotmail.com

Deb Hall, City Clerk
debbieh@ci.marshfie ld.wi.us

City of Marshfield, Wisconsin
P.O. Box 727
630 S. Central Ave
7th Floor
Marshfield, WI 54449
(715) 387-6597

Marshfield plans to discuss banning pit bulls
By Liz Welter • For the Wausau Daily Herald • July 8, 2010

MARSHFIELD — City officials might create an ordinance banning pit bulls after last week’s attack on a 5-year-old girl by a Rottweiler-pit bull mixed-breed dog.

“Right after (the attack) happened, I had a lot of phone calls, but it’s slacked off now,” said Ed Wagner, alderman and chairman of the city’s Judiciary, Licensing and Cemetery Committee, which monitors dog licensing.

Whether the city should have an ordinance banning pit bulls is difficult to answer, Wagner said.

“The city attorney is looking into this now,” he said. A recommendation will be given to the committee later this summer.

The injured child, who was attacked and severely injured June 29, was treated at Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield and released during the weekend. Her father, a 33-year-old Spencer man, and the caretaker of the dog, a 21-year-old Marshfield woman, also were injured in the attack. They were treated and released June 29.

Marshfield police shot the dog twice, killing it, as it was attacking the girl, Police Chief Gary Jepsen has said.

Banning pit bulls isn’t a new idea in Marshfield.

“There have been problems with pit bulls. That’s why the city adopted a dangerous dog ordinance,” said Dan Leonard, Marshfield Police Department ordinance officer. The dangerous animal ordinance allows officers to order owners to muzzle dogs when in public.

“I think it’s a better way to go. Any dog, any breed can be dangerous. It’s not just pit bulls,” Leonard said.

Neillsville adopted an ordinance in February 2003 that banned all new pit bulls but allowed those already licensed in the city to remain.

“There’d been problems with pit bulls,” said Neillsville Police Chief Brad Lindner. “At that time, we had 18 pit bulls registered in the city. Now there are three remaining.”

“Initially, (the ordinance) was difficult to enforce, because the animal needed to be identified as a predominantly pit bull breed,” he said.

The ordinance, however, hasn’t reduced the number of dog bites or reports of aggressive dogs, Lindner said.

Marshfield has about a dozen dog bites reported annually, Leonard said, committed by a variety of different breeds.

Of the dogs licensed in the city each year, about 2 percent are pit bull breeds. The city does not track the breed of the reported biting dogs.

http://www.wausauda ilyherald. com/article/ 20100708/ WDH0101/7080503/ Marshfield- plans-to- discuss-banning- pit-bulls

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