Gering, Nebraska says “NO!” to BSL

An ad hoc committee appointed by the Gering, Nebraska city council to research changes to the city’s dog ordinance has ruled out breed-specific legislation. The city will continue to discuss the avenues for dealing with dog issues within the community.

The Gering Police Chief advised that the ad hoc committee had met previously, and had already ruled “within the first 30 seconds of our first meeting against breed specific legislation. It is obvious that it doesn’t work.”

Committee members wanted to hear from Gering residents, including pet owners, on concerns about ordinances. Residents spoke in favor of a breed-neutral law, and emphasized that the current laws, including the leash law, were not being enforced. In addition, the city’s resources are limited, with one animal control officer, and limited funds to work with.

Citizens at the meeting spent a great deal of time talking about personal responsibility as owners of dogs. Dog owners are responsible for following the laws and caring for dogs, including proper socialization and training, citizens said. They talked about opportunities to reach out to dog owners, through the community newsletter, the newspaper and other avenues, to educate owners about laws and responsibility. On a regular basis, it was stated that “owners need to step up.”

Education to parents and children were also discussed. Many dog owners expressed concern about children approaching dogs without concern of being injured. It was suggested that volunteers reach out to area schools, preschools and daycares to help teach children about dog safety.
The committee intends to meet again in the near future, and will be tasked with making any recommendations to the Gering council that it might have about proposed changes in dog ordinances or other recommendations.

If you are a resident of Gering, you are encouraged to reach out to city officials and offer your assistance and ideas in crafting a fair and effective animal control ordinance for the city.

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