NEWARK, OH: Second reading on revised breed specific proposal

The city of Newark, Ohio has been discussing the possibility of repealing their pit bull ordinance since July. However, as we advised in previous alerts, rather than removing the breed specific language alltogether, the proposed ordinance, while removing pit bulls from being automatically labeled as vicious or dangerous dogs, establishes special rules for “pit bull type” dogs.  The Safety Committee approved those changes, and the first reading by the full council was passed on October 15, 2012.  The city council will take the final vote on that proposal today, Monday, November 5, 2012. Meetings are held at Council Chambers and begin at 7:00.

The “citizen comments” segment of the meeting is held immediately before readings begin.  Please attend tonight’s council meeting and urge the council to rethink the proposal and remove the breed specific language as originally proposed.

The pertinent section of the revised ordinance is below:

618.15 Dangerous and Vicious Dogs

(7) Pit Bull” means any dog that belongs to a breed that is commonly referred to and generally recognizable as a pit bull dog that has not otherwise been deemed vicious or dangerous dog as set forth herein.

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(1) While the dog is on the premises of the owner, keeper or harborer, securely confine it at all times in an approved locked pen or approved locked fenced yard including an adequate perimeter fence of no less than six feet in height or other approved locked enclosure that has a top while the dog is on the premises, except that a pit bull dog may, in the alternative, be tied with a chain linked leash no longer than six feet so that the dog is adequately restrained.

(2) While the pit bull dog is off the premises of the owner, keeper or harborer, muzzle the pit bull dog, keep the pit bull dog in an approved locked pen or other approved locked enclosure, or in the alternative, have the pit bull dog restrained by a chain linked leash no longer than six feet which is controlled by a competent adult.

The ordinance also sets forth specific penalties for violations involving “pit bull” type dogs.

The first reading of the ordinance will be Monday, October 15. Please attend the council meeting and encourage city officials to remove the breed specific language from the proposal. According to the city’s website, the public is welcome to all meetings. Public input is important, and you are encouraged to contact your ward councilperson or any at-large councilperson to discuss issues of interest to you.

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