In December 2012, the head of the Humane Society of Southeast Arkansas asked the Monticello city council to implement an ordinance that would ban or regulate pit bulls in the city limits. The council instructed the city attorney to research such ordinances and prepare a draft for the city’s consideration, and advised they would discuss the issue at the council meeting on January 24, 2013. According to a city official, the city attorney’s draft was not ready for presentation at their last meeting on the 24th. The next council meeting is February 21, 2013, and if the city attorney has completed his draft ordinance, he will present it at that time.
Previous alert for Monticello:
As I understand, the council is not interested in banning any specific breed of dogs. However, an ordinance that would regulate the ownership of certain breeds is in the works.
I also learned that the city has a very real problem with irresponsible and negligent dog owners. Dogs being tethered by heavy logging chains that grow into their skin. Dogs being left with no food, no water and no shelter. Most of these dogs are “pit bulls.” Unfortunately, the humane society, who claims to know exactly where the problem owners are located, would rather have the council impose regulations on all pit bull owners in Monticello – the responsible, as well as those who are not – than work with these residents and educate them on responsible ownership practices.
I would strongly encourage members of breed clubs, humane societies, animal rescue and welfare organizations to reach out to both the Monticello city council, as well as the Humane Society of Southeast Arkansas, and work with them on measures that would effectively solve the real problems in Monticello rather than punish all the responsible pit bull owners because of the actions of a few. It is naïve to think that by simply removing a specific breed from the community, without educating the irresponsible dog owners, that those very same dog owners won’t simply get another breed of dog, tether it with a logging chain, and leave it with no food, water or shelter. This is an opportunity to stop the cycle of irresponsible ownership and create positive change in Monticello for humans and dogs alike.
As is most often the case when a breed specific ordinance is proposed, Monticello doesn’t have a dog problem…they have an irresponsible owner problem, and you can help fix it.
City of Monticello
203 W Gaines St
Monticello, AR 71655
Phone: (870) 367-4400
Fax: (870) 367-4405