We were alerted earlier this week that a Hobart city official planned to ask the city council to enact an ordinance regulating the ownership of “pit bulls.” That request was made last night. The council determined the matter should be revisited by the ordinance committee, and the issue will be back before the council on July 18.
Please send your polite, respectful and informative opposition to breed specific legislation to the Hobart city officials listed below. Individual contact information for the council members is not available, but correspondence may be sent to them via the City Clerk. Please include suggestions, alternatives, and breed-neutral ordinances for their consideration, as well. The council is divided on this issue, and by providing them with information regarding the many flaws of BSL, the easier it will be for them to understand that breed specific ordinances are ineffective, costly and simply do nothing to ensure the safety of the community.
Mayor Brian Snedecor
City of Hobart
414 Main Street
Hobart, IN 46342
Hobart City Council to further discuss vicious dog ordinance
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent June 20, 2012
HOBART — Resident and city employee Sherryl Doerr on Wednesday asked the City Council to enact an ordinance that has some teeth in it to regulate vicious dogs, after her daughter’s terrier mix recently was attacked and killed by a pit bull in the back yard.
But both those in attendance at Wednesday’s city council meeting, for and against an ordinance that would single out specific breeds, will have to return to the council chambers at 5 p.m. July 18 with their points of view and any supporting materials.
The council determined the matter will need to be revisited by its ordinance committee in order to make it more enforceable. Councilman Jerry Herzog, D-1st, who heads the ordinance committee, said the meeting would be devoted to this issue only.
Doerr said the dog that attacked her daughter’s pet is the second pit bull that had to be put down by its owners.
“Two dogs had to be put down and one dog died because of irresponsible behavior,” said Doerr, who works for both the Redevelopment Commission and the Sanitary/Stormwater Department.
She said there is a vicious dog ordinance on the books now that isn’t being enforced.
“That needs to be changed. Please don’t wait until someone’s child or grandchild is seriously injured or killed,” Doerr said.
Councilman Dave Vinzant, D-4th, told those attending the meeting to bring any materials regarding the issue and copies of other communities’ ordinances to clerk-treasurer Deb Longer prior to the July 18 meeting.
Melissa Blake, whose dog was killed in the attack, said she knew nothing would be done Wednesday and is satisfied with the council’s decision to discuss it further at the committee level.
“I’m not afraid of dogs; I’m afraid of pit bulls,” Blake said. “I just want to see something done. I feel very unsafe.”
However, Greg Wright and Caitlin Smith, both of Hobart, came to the meeting to ask that any ordinance approved not single out a specific breed.
“It shouldn’t be about the dog. It’s about the owner,” said Smith, who has a Siberian husky and a pit bull mix.
Wright agreed. “I just don’t want it to be breed specific,” he said of any new ordinance regulating vicious dogs.
Wright has two pit bulls.
Some council members agree with Wright and Smith.
“I’ll go with anything as long as it isn’t breed specific,” Councilman Pete Mendez, D-2nd, said.