A proposed breed ban and vicious dog ordinance has failed in Rockaway Beach Missouri.
The ban failed, according to officials, because it was not seconded for a reading.
“The bill died due to the lack of a second for a reading,” said Rockaway Beach City Clerk Susan Kettlekamp. “The bill was quite broad and encompassed dangerous dogs and a ban on pit bulls.” Full story (subscription only)
This means that one Alderman brought the proposal forward but no other council member would support the proposal in its current form.
The proposal came at the request of a resident who was attacked by 2 dogs, identified as pit bulls. A man in a car stopped to ask the victim for directions when 2 dogs jumped out of the car and attacked the victim and his dog. According to the previously cited report, the dogs were being transported by the father of the owner, who turned the dogs over to his father because he was in the process of being arrested at a nearby motel.
Officials cited the Springfield ordinance which was enacted in 2006 in discussions. The was some vocal opposition from at least one board member at the time the issue was raised. The Springfield ordinance has been under debate for some time, and investigations into it have shown the law to be a public safety failure.
It is possible that the proposal will be brought back to be re-written. Indeed, strengthening the dangerous dog laws in a breed neutral way would benefit the community, so it would be good for the laws to be evaluated for weak points.
The spurning incident, however, may not have been avoided by any law. This seems like an instance of a lack of knowing these dogs personally and therefore not exercising the precaution of rolling up the windows of the car. The man who was supervising the dogs was not the owner of the attacking dogs, and may not have been aware of any issues they had. This does not negate his responsibility for the incident but this is clearly not a breed issue.
We hope that the victim is afforded justice for his damages. There may be criminal charges levied, and the medical bills have amounted, so a civil suit also may be in the works.
If you are in Rockaway, please reach out and thank your Aldermen for rejecting the idea of a breed discriminatory law, and urge them to craft a breed neutral bill that would best serve the community.
There is limited contact information but you may write, call or fax with a note of attention to the Board of Aldermen.City of Rockaway Beach, 2762 State Highway 176, Rockaway Beach, MO 65740
Phone: (417) 561-4424
Fax: (417) 561-6025