Dearborn County, IN: Overhaul of animal control ordinance would REPEAL language regulating “pit bulls”

Officials in Dearborn County, Indiana are overhauling their entire animal control ordinance.   One of the proposed amendments is the removal of the language in their current ordinance that regulates the ownership of “pit bulls.”

According to the proposal, the Dearborn County Board of Commissioners desire to revise Chapter 90 of the County Code of Ordinances to better serve the citizens of Dearborn County.   The current ordinance would be stricken in its entirety and replaced with an updated version.

The current ordinance declares as vicious “any dog belonging to a breed that is commonly known as a pit bull dog.   The ownership, keeping, or harboring of such a breed shall be prima facie evidence of the ownership, keeping or harboring of a vicious dog.”

The ordinance defines a “pit bull” as follows:

PIT BULL DOG. Any dog known as a Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, or American Pit Bull breed of dog, or any mixed breed of dog which contains as an element of its breeding the breed of these named breeds as to be identifiable  as partially of such breed as determined by a qualified veterinarian duly licensed as such by the State of Indiana.

In addition to setting forth duties and responsibilities of animal owners, the amended ordinance would regulate nuisance animals, dogs running in packs, and institute tethering restrictions.  In addition, vicious dogs would be deemed as such according to their actions and behaviors and not their breed or perceived breed.

The proposed ordinance can be found on the county’s web page under “Public Review.

Residents of Dearborn County are encouraged to reach out to their officials and let them know they support the move to update the entire animal control ordinance in order to better serve and enhance the welfare of all who live in Dearborn County – people and animals alike.

According to the county clerk, the proposal is on the May 20, 2014 commissioners meeting agenda, however, she was unable to say with certainty whether commissions would be taking a vote or simply reviewing the proposal at that time.


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