Tuesday night the Dover City Council unanimously passed an ordinance that bans pit bulls.
The new law, which takes effect immediately, defines pit bulls as American Pit Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and American Bulldogs and “any dog that has been registered as a pit bull, referred to as such, or that is defined or identified as a dog belonging to any of the pit bull dog breeds.”
There is a grandfather clause that gives residents with a targeted dog 60 days to come into compliance with requirements in order to keep their dogs. Those who fail to come into compliance will have their dogs confiscated. The owner of a grandfathered dog must be at least 21 years old, the dog must be confined according the specifications of the law, the owner must provide documentation that the animal was licensed prior to the ordinance being passed, proof that the dog has received a rabies vaccination, and the dog must be altered.
This was an unusual ordinance because the law exempts registered show dogs with certain documentation.
If the theory is that certain dogs are dangerous solely based on their breed, it would stand to reason that pure breed dogs would more than likely carry whatever it is officials claim makes these dogs more dangerous than other breeds. This law effectively allows for the closed gene pool of these supposedly dangerous dog to continue to live in their town, but bans dogs of unknown heritage, and therefore unknown genetics.
Failure to comply with the rules and regulations of the ordinance will result in the immediate seizure of the dog. Owners face a misdemeanor charge, punishable with a fine no less than $150 and no more than $500.
If the dog is not claimed within three business days, the dog will be killed.
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