According to Winnie Shepherd, Executive Support Specialist for the city of Medford, Oregon, the Police Advisory Committee has scheduled a hearing to take public testimony and conduct further study on dangerous dog policies. As you recall, some city officials have called for an ordinance regulating or banning “pit bulls” in the city limits.
The hearing has been scheduled for February 19, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at City Hall, and the public is encouraged to attend and address the council on any potential changes to the city’s animal control policies.
Per an e-mail received from Ms. Shepherd:
The Council gave the following direction to the committee:
1) Hold a public hearing to receive information and citizen input;
2) Forward a recommendation to the City Council encompassing
a) A proactive approach to provide public awareness and safety; and
b) An enforcement approach to include a stair step process for repeat offenders and hold negligent or reckless dog owners accountable;
3) Recommendation to be presented to the City Council by the April 17, 2014 meeting;
The committee’s recommendation will be reviewed by the City Council at an open meeting where additional public comments will be allowed prior to final action.
Keep in mind that nothing has been proposed and these discussions are designed to open communications between the city and residents. In addition, the suggestion to enact a breed specific ordinance is not supported by all the members of the city council, this includes the mayor who has been very vocal in his opposition to target specific breeds of dogs. That being said, as long as there is any chance a breed specific ordinance could come out of these discussions, residents should continue to monitor this situation very closely.
Positive change takes place when citizens actively participate in decisions that affect their communities. Its important to make sure your city officials know you are ready and willing to work with them to either strengthen the current law or craft an ordinance that improves the safety and welfare of the entire community – people and animals alike.
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