BSL ALERT: Gering, Nebraska (Pits bulls & Rotties)

A news article out of Gering, Nebraska published yesterday indicated that after residents approached the city council about a neighbor’s dog, the council requested the city attorney to research dog ordinances from various cities. However, today’s article indicates the city is actually looking at an ordinance that would ban “pit bulls and other breeds it deems dangerous.”

Councilman Dan Smith advised the council that “a lot” of constituents have ask about banning pit bulls and other dogs that he cited as having dangerous reputations, including rottweilers. He asked that a proposal for designing a breed-specific ban go before the public safety committee. Other council members have indicated support for such an ordinance.

Please send your polite, respectful and informative opposition to breed specific legislation to the Gering city officials listed below. Gering has a breed-neutral dangerous dog ordinance which serves to protect the community. Like any law, however, an ordinance is only as good as its enforcement. Please encourage city officials to step up enforcement of their current law and hold irresponsible and reckless dog owners accountable for the actions of their dogs regardless of breed.

City of Gering, Nebraska
1025 “P” Street
P.O. Box 687
Gering, Nebraska 69341
Phone: (308) 436-5096
Fax: (308) 436-6899

Mayor Edwin Mayo

Joyce Hillman-Kortum

Dan Smith

Rebecca Shields

Don Christensen

Larry Gibbs

Julie Morrison

Jill McFarland

Manuel Escamilla

Council to consider breed specific city ordinance

Posted: Thursday, October 25, 2012 3:34 pm
By MAUNETTE LOEKS For the CourierStar Herald |

A Gering couple’s experience with a pitbull attack could serve as the impetus for the Gering City Council to consider banning pitbulls and other breeds it deems dangerous from the city.

During Monday’s Gering council meeting, Gene and Georgetta Weimer, who live on Margaret Drive, became emotional about an attack on the Weimers by their neighbor and his pitbull.
On Oct. 14, Georgetta Weimer alleged to the council she was washing her car when her neighbor’s two pitbulls came into her yard. One of the pitbulls, an adult male, chased her into her garage, she said. “We are just pleading with you to do something about this dog,” Georgetta Weimer said, asking the council to find a means to prevent the dog from being returned to Franke. They expressed concern for neighbors and children, expressing that they feel that Franke has a long history of terrorizing the neighborhood with current and past pitbulls that he has owned.

* * *

Though City Administrator Lane Danielzuk asked not to speak specifically of the case, Gering Police Capt. George Holthus did outline the city’s vicious and dangerous dog ordinances. The City of Gering does have in place a vicious and dangerous dog ordinance, but a dog deemed dangerous could be returned to its owner. The dog would have to be on a leash and muzzled, or an officer responding to an event involving the dog could immediately “dispatch” the dog, Holthus said.

* * *

The discussion prompted some council members to call for further action by the City of Gering.
Councilman Dan Smith said he has had a lot of constituents ask about banning pitbulls and other dogs that he cited as having dangerous reputations, including rottweilers.

“Some communities have breed specific bans,” he said.

Councilman Larry Gibbs said the council has opted not to ban specific breeds in the past, but instead to focus on vicious and dangerous dogs. However, he said, the current ordinance does require that a history or incident would had to have occurred for an animal to be deemed dangerous or vicious.

Councilwoman Monette Ross also expressed that she believed pitbulls to be dangerous dogs. “You can’t count on what it (a pitbull) is going to do,” she said. “One minute, it is just sitting there and the next thing, it is a killing machine.”

Smith asked that a proposal for designing a breed-specific ban go before the public safety committee.

Danielzuk said officials would transcribe minutes of the meeting and officials would work with law enforcement. City Attorney Jim Ellison said he would have to evaluate city ordinance and state statute to see if law enforcement have remedies for continuing to impound the dog or other means.

Holthus outlined that residents can take action to defend themselves in the event of an attack.


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