Thursday night city leaders in Chippewa Falls Wisconsin rejected the call for a ban that would target certain types of dogs.
“City leaders agreed Thursday night at a Committee of the Whole meeting that a ban on any single dog breed would not be a positive solution to the city’s dog problems.” Read more
Rejection of a breed discriminatory law was unanimous among the committee members. Instead, they will be looking at breed neutral regulations that will add stiffer penalties for people who are not operating proper care and control of their dogs. The changes being looked at are increasing fines for dogs at large, hiring an animal control officer to deal with dogs at large, and administrative fees for people whose dogs are confiscated and causing expense to the city.
Officials are also looking into a better way to proactively protect the community from dogs that have proven to be a danger to the community, like clearer administrative protocols for dogs that have already shown dangerous behavior.
We applaud officials for rejecting the unenforceable and going, instead, to common sense effective alternatives to creating a safer community for all the residents of Chippewa falls. Constituents may reach out and thank them for doing what is best for the entire community.
Last week a resident of Chippewa Falls approached officials with a story about how her cat was killed by a dog she identified as a “pit bull.”
In response to that officials are looking into a breed ban.
The spurring incidents pose some serious questions for the community about how to increase public safety but a ban is not an effective use of time or resources. Time and time again, cities with breed bans do not see a decrease in attacks by dogs. Often the corollary is the exact opposite, that attacks increase due to the diversion of funds in animal control. Any time money is taken away from addressing the true issues involving dangerous dogs the community suffers.
If Chippewa Falls were to institute a ban it would end up costing the tax payers a minimum of $21,000 a year, per the Best Friends Animal Societies fiscal calculator. This may not seem like a lot of money to some but when put into the perspective that the town has a population of just over 13,500, and the fact that one instance of litigation could easily triple that number, everyone in the community loses.
Residents and locals: The next council meeting is April 16th at 6:30 PM. It is unclear when this specific issue will be discussed but a topic does not have to be on the agenda for the public to speak on it. Please attend the meeting to politely offer opposition to a breed specific law. Remember that the best way to engage officials is by offering alternatives. One alternative would be the NAIA Model Animal Control Ordinance. One of the most powerful things we, as advocates can do is offer solutions along with the opposition.
All the Council members contact information can be found here.
Contact information for Committee 3, which deals with public safety issues:
C W King