At the request of residents, city officials in Vienna, West Virginia are considering revising their vicious dog ordinance to REMOVE the breed specific language from the law.
Please take a moment to encourage the Vienna officials to move toward a generic dangerous dog law (such as the one in nearby Parkersburg, W.V.) that holds owners to a higher accountability for the actions of their dogs, and bases the designation of “dangerous” on the actions of the dog — not its breed.
Bless the Bullys
City of Vienna
609 29th Street
Viena, West Virginia 26105
Phone: (304) 295-4541
Mayor David Nohe
City Council e-mail quick list:
Vienna officials consider vicious dog ordinance
December 16, 2010 – By NATALEE SEELY firstname.lastname@example.org
VIENNA – A Vienna couple seeking a change to the city’s code on vicious dogs asked city council Thursday to take pit bulls out of the ordinance.
Lindsey and Andy McVey, of 4205 Grand Central Ave., asked council to revisit code 507.10, dealing with vicious dog regulations.
“Pit bulls are often negatively attacked in the media. The breed has gotten a very bad rap,” said Andy McVey. “It’s time to change things.”
Vienna code 507.10 defines a vicious dog as any breed of pit bull terrier or Staffordshire bull terrier, as well as any dog with the propensity to attack human beings or other domestic animals.
Under the code, any dogs defined as “vicious” must wear a muzzle and leash when outside of the residence.
Dog owners must purchase public liability insurance on the dog, and “Beware of Dog” signs must be visible to the public.
Failure to comply with code regulations could result in fines up to $300.
The couple, who own a pit bull, said it was time to take breed-specific regulations out of the city code.
“Pit bulls are actually very intelligent family pets,” she said.
Andy McVey said that other factors beside breed determine a dog’s propensity to attack, such as not spaying or neutering a dog or abusing a dog.
Vienna Mayor David Nohe said council would revisit the code with the help of Parks Director Norm Harris.
“I would like to see the code modified,” said Harris. “I’ve always thought it was too breed-specific.”
Harris said the national trend on vicious dog ordinances is defining dogs more by their actions, not their breed.
“You are responsible for your own dog. Period,” said Harris. “I think it’s about time we made some revisions, going toward less of a breed-specific definition.”
Vienna adopted an ordinance on vicious dogs in 1984. Pit bulls were always part of the category, said Harris.
The city of Parkersburg has no breed-specific ordinances on vicious dogs, he said.
Council agreed to look over a revised ordinance at a later meeting.