Tuesday night the Aldermen for the city of Hornbeak Tennessee gave final approval to an ordinance that places restrictions on 10 different types of dogs.
The dogs that are effected by this ordinance are Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Dobermans, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Akitas, Chows, and Wolf hybrids.
These types of dogs will be considered vicious solely based on their appearance. Owners of these dogs must have a special registration, leash and muzzle requirements, confinement requirements, the placement of “beware of dog” signs, proof of insurance and identification photos of the dogs to be provided to the city recorder.
The ordinance passed with a vote of 5-1, with one official refusing to vote for the new law because they felt it went to far.
The initial stories out of Hornbeak cite issues with dogs at large. In such a small town there is a very accessible way to address these issues since the community is so close-knit. It is rather disconcerting that instead of addressing the real issues behind the problems Hornbeak was experiencing, they chose instead to restrict the rights of responsible owners.
Hornbeak is an extremely small town with limited financial resources. The population is around 450 people. They do not have animal control of their own, or an animal shelter, which poses the question of how exactly any ordinance will be enforced. This new ordinance will undoubtedly be a public safety failure. The people who lose in this are the citizens.