The Lisbon, Iowa city council is considering an ordinance that would regulate the ownership of pit bulls. A draft ordinance will be presented at this Monday’s council meeting (August 22, 2011) at 7:00 p.m.
Please send your POLITE, RESPECTFUL and INFORMATIVE letters in opposition to breed specific legislation to the Lisbon city officials listed below. Contact information for the individual council members is not available, but you may send the same to the city clerk with a request to forward on to each council member.
Lisbon City Hall
Location: 115 N Washington
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 68
Lisbon, IA 52253
Council meetings are the second and fourth Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the City Hall council chambers. City Hall is located at 115 N Washington.
Lisbon considers pit bull banAugust 19, 2011 · Jake Krob
The City of Lisbon is moving forward with a plan to ban pit bulls in the city, while likely allowing dogs of that breed that are already in town to remain.
The city council last week discussed at length taking the action several cities in Iowa have in recent years – banning certain breeds of dogs, or automatically considering them “vicious” by city law. Council members unanimously approved having city administrator Chris Yancey add to the city’s dog ordinance language from City of Rolfe, which states that it’s “unlawful to keep, board or kennel or in any way possess within the corporate limits of the city any pit bull dogs.”
Rolfe’s ordinance also clearly defines what a pit bull is, including mixed breed pit bulls and “any dog which has the appearance and characteristics of being predominantly of the breed ….”
Although Rolfe’s ordinance doesn’t allow for pit bulls already in the community to remain, Lisbon council members indicated they would likely make that the case for their city.
“We’ll deal with that,” said council member Travis Jubeck, who made the motion to include Rolfe’s ordinance into Lisbon’s.
Yancey will likely present the council with a draft ordinance at this coming Monday’s council meeting. City council member John Bardsley pointed out that it takes three readings to finalize a new ordinance, so citizens will have ample opportunity to comment.
“This can be tweaked – it takes three readings,” Bardsley said.
Council member Larry McAtee said that addressing the issue of banning certain breeds is “a proactive approach.”
He noted that the city’s current ordinance allows for the ban of vicious animals.
“It’s an after-the-fact thing,” he said. In current city ordinance, there are dangerous animals that are disallowed – such as lions, bears, scorpions and venomous snakes. Vicious animals are also not allowed – those are defined as an animal “that has bitten or clawed a person while running at large … or any animal that has exhibited vicious tendencies in the present or past conduct.”
That ordinance has been used in recent weeks to ban two animals that bit people. Police chief Rick Scott reported to the Sun that one was a labrador and one was a rat terrier. McAtee said he learned that the Lab was a cross with a rottweiler.
McAtee said he was for the banning of certain breeds like pit bulls and rottweiler because “these breeds are known to be the type that will lock on” if attacking someone.
Mayor Rex Cook agreed.
“A pit bull is bred for one thing – that’s fighting and killing,” he said.
City leaders didn’t indicate there had been problems with pit bulls in the community, but Cook said it would be good to be proactive.
“I would hate to see someone ripped apart,” he said.
Council member Lance Zerbe expressed concern about picking and choosing breeds of dogs to ban from the city.
“We have a vicious ordinance already,” he said.
“I’d rather narrow it down at this point – be a little proactive,” responded McAtee.
Council member Doug Kamberling didn’t disagree with the banning. But he noted that the city could get quite a reaction from residents.
He noted that at one hearing to reconsider the banning of a dog that had bitten someone, “there were 20 some people here in defense of that dog.” He said he was bothered that it seemed more people were for the dog than the person who was bit.
“That’s what we’re up against,” he said.
Initially, McAtee suggested the city adopt language from the City of Perry, which clearly defines that a vicious dog is any breed of pit bull and rottweiler. However, after recognizing that Perry doesn’t ban the animals – but restricts how they can be walked and kept – McAtee backed off on that suggestion.
In the end, the council opted to have Yancey work with Rolfe’s ordinance.
Council members did wonder how the city would know who already had pit bulls in town, if they are allowed to remain after an ordinance is in place.
Yancey said Scott has a list of them. She also pointed out that the city is pushing hard for people to follow city law that dogs in the city must be registered with the city. She said Scott has been giving notices to those who don’t have their dogs registered.
Because of that, she said, “we’ve seen more (registrations) in the last month than we’ve seen in three years.”