Group Leaning Toward Partial Pit Bull Ban
POSTED: 11:14 pm CDT July 31, 2008
UPDATED: 11:29 pm CDT July 31, 2008
OMAHA, Neb. -- Omaha city leaders said they are making more progress in efforts to create an ordinance to deal with dangerous dogs.
A mayoral committee plans to meet again soon to work on a final draft of new rules for people who own pit bulls. The committee hopes to get an ordinance to the city council by the middle of August.
Their work comes as an incident Wednesday night raises new questions about pit bull safety. Omaha firefighters responded to a car accident but had to take precautions because of a pit bull in the damaged vehicle.
Crews restrained the dog and completed the rescue, but they said this situation is far from unique.
“While responding to an emergency call in Engine One, we encountered the patient’s husband and their pit bull in the front yard,” said Omaha Fire Department Capt. James Gentile. “The pit bull was half out of its restraint.”
Gentile said he won’t forget answering that call, especially since the dog was standing between his crew and a person in urgent need of medical care.
“I told the owner to restrain the animal,” he said. “And I called OPD and the Humane Society.”
The response to that incident is among the factors the Mayor’s Pit Bull Committee is considering as part of legislation to modify the city’s current dangerous animal codes.
“We’re taking this job very seriously,” said Omaha City Council member Gary Gernandt.
He said his committee is circulating a third draft of a combination dangerous dog ordinance and partial pit bull pan. He said the focus is maximizing public safety without having to totally ban pit bulls.
“I think we should be looking not at the lower end of the leash, but who’s behind the leash,” he said.
Gernandt said a total ban on pit bulls would likely result in an overstressing of Humane Society resources. He estimated animal control technicians would have to take in as many as 80 animals every week.
Whatever plan the committee approves would have to go through three readings and a public hearing before it could take effect.
Bless the Bullys