Beatrice, NE: First reading draws public comment against BSL

Last night, Beatrice, NE council discussed a new animal ordinance that would declare all “pit bulls” (any dog appearing to be more than 50% “pit bull,” DNA tests done at owner’s expense) to be “potentially dangerous” dogs, thereby placing discriminatory restrictions on pit bull ownership.

The city council seems to understand that breed-neutral language would be a better option (as it would protect the entire community from all dogs, and would protect all dogs from abusive owners regardless of breed), but whether they will remove the breed-specific language remains to be seen.

The proposed ordinance may be read here. The second reading of the ordinance should take place at an upcoming council meeting, perhaps April 4.

Public weighs in on new animal ordinance

Measure will require breed-specific laws for pit bull owners

By Scott Koperski/Daily Sun staff writer Beatrice Daily Sun Online | Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 6:00 am

[…]The bulk of the discussion focused on a proposal to declaring all pit bull breed of dogs to be potentially dangerous animals.[…]

One person who spoke in opposition to the pit bull section of the ordinance was Gina Grone, Humane Society executive director.

“I would like you to take a look at (the ordinance) without the pit bull wording,” Grone told the Council. “Anything that you want to prohibit in regard to any dogs that fit into that pit bull definition is covered by the dangerous dog ordinance. I think that you can have the results and control that you want without putting undue stresses or pressure on people who own these dogs in the city and are responsible.”[…]

After hearing from members of the community opposed to the pit bull portion of the ordinance, Council member Calvin Carey indicated it might be an aspect the ordinance could do without.

“The main thing is you want the pit bull taken out of the language, and I think we can go ahead and adjust that.” Carey said.

The issue of how to determine a dog to be a pit bull was also raised.

[City attorney] Tempelmeyer said guideline set by national kennel clubs would be used to determine if a dog was more than 50 percent pit bull.

Should DNA tests be necessary, he added it would most likely not be the cities responsibility to fund the tests.[…]

Full article retrieved 3/22/11 from

Beatrice City Council, 400 Ella Street, Beatrice, Nebraska 68310
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