At their meeting on November 12, 2013 members of the Greybull, Wyoming town council scrapped a controversial proposed pit bull ordinance.
As we advised you in our previous alert for Greybull, the town’s animal control officer, Doug Youngerman, introduced an ordinance that would regulate “any American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, or any dog which has the appearance and characteristics of being predominantly in any one or more of the aforementioned breeds.” This included Presa Canarios and Cane Corsos.
Following its initial reading, the town rallied against the proposed ordinance, and several residents addressed the council at the November 12 meeting.
In addition, Mr. Youngerman reversed his position, saying he’d been inundated with phone calls and e-mails from people who opposed the ordinance. He urged the council not to pass the pit bull ordinance on the second reading, citing the will of the people. He also presented a revised, breed-neutral dangerous dog ordinance.
Council members didn’t challenge any of the residents who spoke against the pit bull proposal, and when the ordinance came up for second reading, they rejected it.
Later in the night, the town council gave a first reading to Youngerman’s revised ordinance, which does not include mention of any one breed, but rather focuses on clear definitions for “potentially dangerous/dangerous dogs” and “vicious dogs.”
A vicious dog, the new ordinance states, “shall include any dog which attacks, rushes, bites, snaps or snarls or in any manner menaces any person, vehicle, or animal outside the premises of the owner or keeper or does so to any person, vehicle or animal where the same are lawfully entitled to be or shows any plausible tendency to do so without provocation.”
A “potentially dangerous dog” or “dangerous dog” shall include “any dog that, when unprovoked, engages in any behavior that requires a defensive action, to prevent bodily injury, by any person who is outside of the premises of the owner or keeper or who is lawfully entitled to be on the premises of the owner or keeper.”
The ordinance would require any owner of a potentially dangerous dog to register the dog with the town clerk within five days of that determination or as otherwise ordered by the municipal judge. All such dogs would be required to be licensed, vaccinated, microchipped by the animal control office and have an approved tag affixed to its collar.
Vicious dogs won’t be allowed at all, as the ordinance makes it “unlawful to own, harbor or keep” a dog that fits that description.
Great job to all the residents and advocates who made their voice heard and provided relevant and accurate information for the city officials’ consideration. Kudos to Mr. Youngerman for realizing that breed specific legislation would not benefit his community, and for crafting an ordinance that judges dogs on their individual behaviors, rather than their breed or appearance, and targets the root cause of animal control issues.
Way to go, Greybull…this is a BIG win!