The city of Medford Oregon is discussing the possibility of a breed discriminatory ordinance.
Councilor Karen Blair said recent attacks by dangerous dogs against other dogs prompted her to ask the city for more information about the issue.
In a news report Blair was quoted as saying, ”There are few people that can handle a dog that strong, particularly when its jaws naturally lock.” It is clear that there are some serious misconceptions regarding the anatomy of dogs, that has hopefully been cleared up by some of the correspondence the city council has already received.
The council was reportedly looking into how other municipalities handle dangerous dogs. The statement was made that presence of breed based bans and restrictions in other areas prompted them to look into the issue for themselves. While this maybe true, the prejudicial and misinformed statements made point to an internal factor in the investigation of this issue.
Another Oregon town recently discussed breed discrimination. After looking at the information, Baker City Oregon roundly rejected the idea and the organizations that support these types of laws, as flawed, biased and ineffective. The result was a fantastic, comprehensive breed neutral law that will serve the entire community.
After a look at municipal bite data, the police department stated that there have been 89 reported dog bites in 3 years. These numbers were concerning to officials, and they began discussing what can be done to reduce bite rates in the city. The city of Medford has a population that was estimated to be over 76,000 residents in 2012.
When the idea was originally brought forward, feedback from the officials was mixed. The Mayor specifically stated that a ban wasn’t on the table. Several other council members offered similar opposition to a ban, but feedback specific to restrictions was not given.
There was a study session held initially. According to news reports, the sessions discussed the idea of breed discriminatory legislation in general. Correspondence from the council has proven this to be true, but the council also heard presentations on why breed discriminatory laws are problematic.
Residents have been collecting signatures on petitions and the council has reportedly received a lot of correspondence regarding the issue.
There is not a lot of feedback regarding which direction the council may take.
Medford Oregon residents:
The city has issued a press release. A meeting has been scheduled for February 19th beginning at 4:30pm, 411 W. 8th Street, Medford, Oregon, on the 3rd floor of City Hall. This meeting is being held to hear public input on the potential changes to the current dangerous dog laws.
Residents should attend this meeting to politely and factually oppose breed discriminatory laws. Those who speak can also present written information to the council for consideration at that time.
Those who cannot attend can direct their written opposition to the council directly at the following e-mail addresses.
Gary Wheeler – Mayor firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Blair – Councilmember Ward 2: email@example.com
Daniel Bunn – Councilmember Ward 4: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Corcoran – Councilmember Ward 3: email@example.com
Dick Gordon – Councilmember Ward 1: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim Jackle – Councilmember Ward 1: email@example.com
Eli Matthews – Councilmember Ward 2: firstname.lastname@example.org
John Michaels – Councilmember Ward 3: email@example.com
Bob Strosser – Councilmember Ward 4: firstname.lastname@example.org