In response to a dog attack, the Caledonia, MN city officials are drafting an ordinance regulating the ownership of “pit bulls.” This action is supported by the police chief and the animal control officer, and the police chief specifically has offered several misrepresentations about breed specific legislation to the council. It should also be noted that Minnesota state law prohibits municipalities from passing breed specific ordinances.
The issue is slated to be heard (and possibly voted on) by the council on June 11, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. Meetings take place in Council Chambers which is located on the lower level of the City Hall-Library Building. The meetings are open to the public.
Please send your polite, respectful and informative opposition to breed specific legislation to the Caledonia city officials via the city clerk, Jennifer Feely.
Caledonia’s City Hall
231 East Main Street
P.O. Box 232
Caledonia, MN 55921
Phone: (507) 725-3450
Fax: (507) 725-5258
City Clerk – Administrator
Council looking to ban any new pit bulls within the city limits
06 June 2012
By Charlie Warner
Spurred on by an attack of a pit bull that resulted in the death of another dog and injuries to its owner, the Caledonia City Council spent considerable time discussing the creation of a dangerous and vicious animal ordinance last week.
According to Caledonia Police Chief Kurt Zehnder, Helen Olson was walking her miniature pinscher along the 800 block of East Grove Street on May 8 around 1 p.m. when a pit bull attacked the small dog, mauled it and ultimately killed it. Olson sustained injuries to her hand as she attempted to pull the pit bull from her dog. Her injuries required medical attention.
The pit bull was taken into custody by City Animal Control Officer Mike Gavin and observed for 10 days. The dog had all its shots. But it was discovered the dog had a micro chip identifying the animal as a potentially dangerous dog. The micro chip was placed in the dog, per state statute, following an attack that occurred when the dog was not living in Caledonia.
The dog has been put down.
“We need to put our foot down on this issue,” Zehnder told the council. “I was there. I saw what happened. It was horrendous. What happened to that small dog made me sick. We were so fortunate that a child wasn’t involved. We could have had a fatality.”
Gavin told the council that the only breed of dog he has had issues with are pit bulls and half-breed pit bulls.
“I believe the background and the breeding of this type of dog makes them quite vicious. This is one breed of dog I really don’t think we want in our community,” Gavin said. “What happened on Grove Street is indescribable.”
Zehnder said there are other cities that do not allow pit bulls. He cited Minneapolis as one major municipality that has zero tolerance for pit bulls. He added that pit bulls are illegal in the state of Colorado.
“People have had many bad experiences with pit bulls,” Zehnder said. “That’s why they have zero tolerances in many places.”
City Clerk/Administrator Jennifer Feely said City Attorney Tim Murphy recommended that a separate ordinance dealing with vicious dogs be prepared and approved by the council.
It was pointed out that pit bulls currently in Caledonia will be grandfathered in. But, like all dogs, they must be licensed, which will help Gavin and the local police department keep better track of them. But no new pit bulls or half-breeds will be allowed within the city limits.
The topic will be revisited at the June 11 council meeting and the new ordinance possibly approved.