At last night’s Augusta City Council meeting City Manager Josh Shaw addressed the city’s dangerous dog ordinance due to recent requests by a number of citizens to repeal the current ordinance.
“On multiple occasions in recent years citizens have submitted requests to the council to consider repealing or amending current ordinances prohibiting pit bulls and other dangerous dogs - as defined in ordinance - within the city limits of Augusta. The current ordinance was adopted in 2004 after several incidents with dogs identified as pit bulls or rottweilers running at large and chasing children and/or attacking neighbors’ pets,” Shaw continued. “Those neighbors prepared a petition and submitted it to the city council asking for stricter legislation of dangerous dogs. The council chose to adopt an ordinance prohibiting these breeds of animals within the city limits.”
Shaw stated in recent years, more communities were being pressured to reconsider their bans on specific breeds and a number of the cities have overturned their bans. He presented several courses of action the council could consider.
“I’ve received email after email explaining why we need to keep it. This is the third time it’s been brought up. I think we need to stay with the current ordinance,” Councilor Jaime Crum said.
Councilman Justin Londigan agreed with Crum. “I’ve only received emails from out of town people who support a change. People in my ward are the ones who circulated the petition...Changing it wouldn’t make Augusta safer or better. I know people say it’s the owner, not the dog, but most of the bites don’t even happen at their own homes. They are off leash and off their property...I spoke with our Safety Department and they are 100 percent against changing it.”
Councilor Ron Reavis added, “Justin summarized my feelings. The ordinance is working. It’s proactive...People wanting it changed probably know the problem with those types of dogs...We need to think of our city employees and the mailmen. It’s something that’s working and we need to keep it.”
Councilor Cale Magruder moved to uphold the current ordinance and to permanently table discussion of overturning the breed ban.
Council approved, 8-0, to not discuss the issue again as a business item until there is a consensus from the majority of the council to do so.
WIKIPEDIA: Augusta is a city in Butler County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 9,274.