Kelly Lappen and her husband live in Waunakee, Wisconsin. They got their dog, Clay, about 8 months ago, but they didn’t realize at the time having a pit bull-type dog violated a city ordinance.
Section 14-3 of the Waunakee code states that “no person shall own, harbor or keep within the village any dog of the breed Staffordshire terrier, or any other dog known as a pit bull terrier.”
Despite the ordinance which was passed several years ago, the Waunakee police say it’s not enforced unless there’s a complaint.
According to Mrs. Lappen, her husband took Clay outside, and he barked at a man walking his dog. That man obviously made a formal complaint to the city because the police came to the Lappen’s home and told them they had twenty days to get rid of Clay. If the Lappen’s do not remove Clay from the city, they face continual fines.
Please help make positive change in Waunakee. Please reach out to the city officials and ask them to consider repealing their breed specific ordinance that is outdated and not enforced. Provide them with alternatives for their consideration that will target dogs that pose a real danger to the community because of their actions and not their appearance. We suggest using the NAIA’s Guide to Constructing Successful Pet Friendly Ordinances. Let them know that an ordinance that focuses on irresponsible dog owners, regardless of the breed of dog they own, is the only way to ensure the safety and well-being of all members in the community – people and animals alike.
Letters can be sent to the Village Clerk, Julee Helt, with a polite request to forward to each of the Village Trustees. It is imperative that your communications with officials is polite and respectful…remember you are representing responsible dog owners as a whole, and we can’t achieve positive change by being argumentative or disrespectful.