The Dover City Council unanimously passed an ordinance at their meeting on October 8, 2013 banning “pit bulls” in city limits.
The ordinance places strict regulations on all dogs considered to be pit bulls, and would prohibit any new pit bulls from living in the city. The ordinance specifically states it is applicable to “any dog that has been registered as a pit bull, referred to as such, or that is defined or identified as a dog belonging to any of the pit bull dog breeds,” and includes the following:
• American Pit Bull Terrier
• Staffordshire Bull Terrier
• American Staffordshire Bull Terrier
• American Bull Dog.
Current “pit bull” owners in the city may keep their dogs, but must register their dogs with the Dover City Clerk within 60 days.
In addition, in order to maintain ownership or “handling rights” to any pit bull, owners must be at least 21 years of age, provide documentation that the animal was licensed prior to the ordinance being passed, provide proof that the dog has received a rabies vaccination, and at his or her own expense, have the dog spayed or neutered, and shall present documented proof from a licensed veterinarian that the sterilization was performed.
The ordinance states that “pit bulls” must be kept within an enclosure, and the dogs are never to be allowed outside of said enclosure without being held on a leash and under the control of the owner. Owners must also display a sign which states “beware of dog” on their property, as well as a similar sign near the kennel or confining area.
The Dover animal control officer will assign a registration number to each dog, and that number is required to be tattooed on the abdomen near the upper inside of the right rear leg.
Failure to comply with the ordinance will result in the immediate seizure of the dog and revocation of the right to a license to own said dog. It will be regarded as a misdemeanor, punishable with a fine no less than $150 and no more than $500.
The ordinance carried an emergency clause and went into effect immediately upon passage.