City leaders in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin agreed Thursday night at a committee of the whole meeting that a ban on any single breed of dog would not be a positive solution to the city’s dog problems. The general consensus of the council members was that an ordinance targeting specific breeds was not in the best interest of the city.
Instead, Committee 3, which reviews public safety measures, will discuss other ways to curb the city’s dog problem, including strengthening penalties and specific requirements for dog owners. Council members Brian Flynn and George Adrian strongly support increasing fines for dogs running at large or for vicious dogs, the city’s two current dog ordinances. It was also suggested that Chippewa Falls hire an animal control officer to deal with the city’s loose dog problems.
The common view of the council was that owners of problem dogs need to take more responsibility, and city officials want to focus ways to get owners to understand those responsibilities.
Councilman Bill Hicks, who initially supported banning pit bulls, suggested more stringent requirements for dogs deemed dangerous, such as liability insurance for dogs, as well as having fenced-in yards and kennels to prevent them getting out. He pointed to the city of Superior’s ordinance where a dog can be determined to be vicious at a public hearing, and then the city imposes an annual fee for the owner to keep that dog.
A meeting will be schedule to further discuss changes to the animal control ordinance, and members of the public will be permitted to speak and voice concerns and suggestions. A date for the meeting has not been set yet, but city officials are encouraging residents to attend and take part in the discussions.
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