Effective August 1, 2014, the city of South Bend, Indiana will no longer deem dogs “dangerous” based on their breed or appearance!
Last night, the city council unanimously approved a bill to overhaul the entire animal care and control ordinance which had not been updated for over twenty years. Councilwoman Valerie Schey led a committee of local leaders and residents who worked for more than a year to update the language in the ordinance.
One of the changes is the elimination of the language regulating “pit bulls” which, once the bill goes into effect, will no longer be singled out as “dangerous.” Instead, they’ll be evaluated based on their behavior just like any other dog residing in the city limits.
Among the other new changes, the updated code eliminates the limit on the number of pets per household and implements restrictions on tethering. The new bill encourages spaying and neutering, and residents who spay and neuter their pets will be eligible for a reduced, flat pet licensing fee.
South Bend Animal Care and Control believes the changes will make it easier for them to intervene when animals aren’t properly being cared for.
South Bend residents do need to take note, however, that Councilman Fred Ferlic advised he plans to introduce amendments requiring pit bulls be muzzled while out in public, as well as requiring owners to have fences that are at least six feet tall.
I want to personally thank Councilwoman Valerie Schey who worked so hard and with such determination to bring change that will have a positive effect on ALL who reside in the city – people and animals alike. Responsible pet owners in South Bend (and their pets) are truly fortunate to have her!
Congratulations to the city of South Bend for a job very well done!