***ALERT*** Portage, Wisconsin **Pit bulls & Rottweilers

Pits in the news and info on Breed Specific Legislation.

Postby cheekymunkee » January 19th, 2007, 11:12 am

City looks at restrictions on pit bulls
By Craig Sauer, Daily Register

Concerned that the city could become a refuge for pit bull owners who have had their pets banned or restricted in other parts of the state, Portage Police Officer Adam Malchow addressed city officials Thursday night and urged them to act preventively and institute a restriction ordinance.

Malchow presented the City Council's Legislative and Regulatory Committee with information about Milwaukee's pit bull and rottweiler ordinance, which places extraordinary requirements on their owners over those of other breeds.

"I hate to see us become a magnet in the future for people who have these dogs," Malchow said, noting that there were also responsible owners of the dogs. "I like the Milwaukee approach. I think it's a good compromise."

According to a brochure from the Milwaukee Department of Neighborhood Services, that city requires owners to attend dog behavior classes and prevents anyone 16 years old or younger from walking the animals. Those of slight stature who can't control the animals also are restricted.

The city also requires owners to construct yard fences or install a kennel.

The ordinance encompasses dogs that are one-half or more American staffordshire terrier, staffordshire terrier, American pit bull terrier, staffordshire bull terrier, miniature bull terrier and rottweiler.

Portage's current ordinance on vicious dogs and animals precludes dogs deemed as "vicious" from being allowed off the owner's premises unless muzzled and on a leash controlled by the owner or a member of their immediate family older than 16.

According to the ordinance, a dog is labeled vicious if "within any 12-month period, it bites two or more persons or inflicts serious injury to one person in unprovoked circumstances off the owner's premises."

"Still, you need to have that first substantial bite, and I guess that is my concern." Malchow said. "If we wait and see if somebody gets bit that we say a dog is too dangerous to be in the city, you end up at the ER."

Citing a report in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Malchow said the breed has the ability to cause a great deal of damage. Pit bulls were found to be responsible for the most deadly dog attacks over a 20-year period of any breed, he said.

"Its the severity of the wounds that is the issue," said committee member Addie Tamboli, arguing why the breed was being targeted. "Its four stitches vs. 60 or death for a young child."

Committee Chairwoman Carol Heisz and committee member Michael Oszman, however, were concerned about enacting an ordinance that was breed-specific and suggested enhancing the current ordinance.

Research and discussion on a possible pit bull ordinance will be placed on future agendas.

"We don't have anybody being attacked by pit bulls in the city of Portage right now. but do we wait 'til some kid is mauled by one and needs 60 stitches to put their face back together, or do we do something now?" Malchow said.

The issue will be researched and discussed at the next committee meeting Feb. 15.


Contact Information

City Administrator:
Larry S. Plaster
115 West Pleasant Street
Larry S. Plaster

City Attorney:
W. Andrew Voigt
311 DeWitt Street
W. Andrew Voigt

City Clerk:
Marie A. Moe
115 West Pleasant Street
Marie A. Moe

Common Council
District 1: Gary J. Alberts
819 East Cook Street
(608)742-4656 Gary J. Alberts
District 2: Carol L. Heisz
411 East Conant Street
(608)742-1978 Carol L. Heisz
District 3: Rick Dodd
726 Morningstar Drive
(608)742-4004 Rick Dodd
District 4: Vacant
District 5: Addie A. Tamboli
211 West Howard Street
(608)742-0403 Addie A. Tamboli
District 6: Michael Oszman
212 Charles Street
742-4600 Michael Oszman
District 7: Fred Reckling
216 West Franklin Street
(608)742-5889 Fred Reckling
District 8: JoAnn Balk
211 Cemetery Road
(608)742-8616 JoAnn Balk
District 9: Daniel Brunt
502 Silver Lake Drive
(608)742-7702 Daniel Brunt
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