Ocala Council may toughen dog ordinance
Council members have asked about banning pit bulls
BY CHRISTOPHER CURRY
In late 2005, the City Council approved similar recommendations to add teeth to the dangerous-dogs law, which deals with attacks on humans or other animals.
Public Works Director John Zobler said the recommended changes would go to City Council in about a month.
Brown said his problem with the current law is the requirement of two sworn affidavits. He said he believes some of his neighbors would not sign one because they feel intimidated by the neighbor who owns the dog, a pit bull named Killer.
Zobler said the two-affidavit requirement was intended as a safeguard to keep city government from being used as a weapon in neighborhood disputes.
Brown's visit to the City Council also had a council member questioning - this was the second time a council member has done so in the last several months - whether the city should ban pit bulls. Last time it was Councilman Charles Ruse Jr., who was then inundated with e-mails of opposition from across the country. Tuesday, it was Council President Mary Sue Rich.
Assistant City Attorney Jimmy Gooding said Florida law appears to prohibit local governments from adopting breed-specific legislation but he would research further. The famous Miami-Dade County pit bull ban is an exception because it was approved before Oct. 1, 1990.
On Wednesday, Rich said the breed ban seems illegal in Florida and she favors a stronger nuisance law for all dogs instead.
Zobler worked as the head of Miami-Dade Animal Control from 1994 to 1998. He said the pit bull ban had mixed results. It gave government more authority to punish pit bull owners but it did not seem to diminish the breed's numbers.
A Public Works Department report from last summer showed the majority of the city's nuisance and dangerous dog complaints involve pit bulls.
http://www.ocala.com/apps/pbcs.dll/arti ... 001/NEWS01
Valerie Forster, City Clerk
Phone(s): (352) 629-8504
Fax: (352) 629-5208
E-Mail Address: clerk@...
Mayor Randy Ewers
Councilman Charles Ruse, Jr.
Councilman Kent Guinn
Councilman Kyle Kay
Councilman Daniel Owen
Councilwoman Mary S. Rich
City Manager Paul K. Nugent
City Council Meeting Agendas: