Council passes new animal control bill - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Council passes new animal control bill

Council passes new animal control bill

The South Bend Common Council passed a new animal control bill Wednesday night.  It includes changes to things like dangerous dog restrictions, anti-tethering, and pet limits and licensing.

The bill has been in the works for over a year now.  Wednesday night, after the council passed it unanimously, the crowd erupted into cheers.
Before the council's decision a public hearing was held on the bill, several people spoke for it and no one spoke against it.

Those who spoke for the new ordinance support it for a variety of reasons.  People argue that specific breeds, like pit bulls, should not be singled out.  Veterinarian Mariah Covey said, "all dogs are capable of aggression." 

Gabrielle Thompson PitBulls South Bend spoke at the meeting.  "We feel strongly all dogs should be treated equally and have a fair shot at life," she said.

They also argued in support of part of the ordinance that eliminates the three pet limit.  "Raising the animal limit will not lead to animal hoarding it will lead to better animal homing," Michele Klota said during the meeting.

The current rules have a three pet limit.  The new ordinance, just passed, states if your pets are spayed or neutered there is no pet limit.  If your pets are not fixed then there is still the three pet limit.

Even though the ordinance passed unanimously, Councilman Fred Ferlic said he still had some concerns.  In the coming weeks Ferlic may bring up some resolutions that he'd like to see.  One of his main issues was pit bulls.  He wants a resolution that requires muzzles for pit bulls and a fence.  Councilwoman Valerie Schey, who has been the main councilmember working on this bill, said she and Ferlic are just going to have to agree to disagree on the issue.  "The research that I have done, the breed itself is not inherently more aggressive or dangerous," Schey said. 

The new law will go into effect on August 1st.

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