Horicon WI-Moves forward with pit bull ban
The next Council meeting is on the 25th and Clerk stated this will be discussed and possibly voted into ordinance
Horicon targets pit bulls
By CONNIE DORNFELD/Staff Reporter
HORICON — The rough draft of the proposed pit bull ordinance that will go to the Horicon City Council for possible adoption was distributed and discussed at length at Tuesday night's meeting of the Public Safety Committee.
City attorney Douglas Plier, who with committee member Don Butler and acting police chief Douglas Glamann compiled the information, pointed out that the city presented has an ordinance that prohibits vicious dogs and animals, very similar to that of the Humane Society of the United States.
"That ordinance requires the municipality to determine if the dog is vicious based on actual prior acts of the animal. The proposed ordinance is based on that of the city of Oconto and does not stand alone. There are others throughout the country," Plier said.
Plier explained that the difference between the present ordinance and the proposed ordinance is that the new one is breed specific.
"It identifies (the breed) and then sets requirements," he said. In a word, the difference is that the new ordinance is breed specific and the present ordinance is act specific, based on the acts of animals."
Plier said that both require that no vicious dog be allowed to leave its property unless securely leashed with a leash no longer than four feet in length.
"With the present ordinance the dog has to be determined to be vicious. In the new one, you are saying the dog is vicious," Plier said.
The city attorney said that many municipalities have ordinance against keeping wild and/or exotic animals.
"Oconto has made a determination that there is enough history of a danger that exists with pit bulls. Madison has a more complex law, requiring a hearing and then declaring the dog is dangerous. They are saying 'wait until the damage happens and then declaring the dog is dangerous.'"
When asked by Plier, Glamann said Horicon probably has one dog bite a month.
"And every incident is different," Glamann said. "The ordinance is not banning the pit bull."
Bea McDaniel told the committee that the ordinance should not be for just one breed.
"Not all pit bulls are vicious," she said. "I have been around these dogs for twenty years and have never had one that bit anyone I understand that people are afraid of them, and the media has a lot to do with that. Mine in an inside dog."
Chairman Richard Marschke informed McDaniel that under the present ordinance her pit bull puppy is not vicious.
Butler pointed out that Horicon is not the only city specifying a breed.
"Juneau has this law already. We are not out to outlaw pit bulls. Someone has to take responsibility and that is what the ordinance is all about," Butler said. "The present ordinance is a good one, but it is after the fact. Now the animal has to bite twice before it is declared to be vicious."
McDaniel told the committee, "I want to know that my rights are not going to be taken away from me because of the type of dog I own. I am a responsible owner. That is the type of dog I prefer to own."
Jody Westimayer strongly encouraged the committee to pass the ordinance.
"I know this is only a starting point. Send it on to the city council and then have a public hearing," she said.
Dawn Bjork also wants the ordinance passed.
"I live in a neighborhood with a pit bull. I want this on the books before someone gets bitten. We have a lot of children and other dogs and cats in our neighborhood," Bjork said.
Horicon City Hall
404 E Lake St
Horicon , WI 53032
City Attorney firstname.lastname@example.org
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