UPDATE 11/28/08: With a 5-2 vote, the Moses Lake City Council declared pit bulls, rottweilers and presa canarios hazardous dogs. Council began discussing the issue after Alex Medina, 6-years old, was severely attacked by a pit bull at his family's home. It took six people to stop a pit bull from mauling the little boy. His injuries included head wounds where his skull was exposed. The boy is now recovering after several reconstructive surgeries.
Alex Medina's mother, Veronica, came to the meeting as the lone citizen in favor of passing the ordinance. Her eyes welled with tears as she tried to speak. She said she hoped no one endures the same pain her son did. She held up a photo timeline for everyone to see. The first picture was a school photo of Alex. The following photos were of him strapped to a gurney, his body bloodied and his face cringing in pain. The timeline concludes with images of his scars.
The stunning bravery of this mother leaves us breathless. Our hearts go out to you for your courage and for Alex's continued, timely recovery.
11/15/08: Hazardous Dog Ordinance
Moses Lake, WA - After a boy was brutally attacked by a neighbor's pit bull in September, Moses Lake City Council approved an ordinance declaring pit bulls hazardous dogs and amended an ordinance adding requirements to register all dogs within the city. Both ordinances were passed on the first reading Tuesday night. The ordinances require a second reading and approval from council to be a law. The next reading is scheduled for November 25.
Hazardous Dog Ordinance
The "hazardous dog" ordinance (page 2) defines "any dog with a known propensity to, tendency, or disposition to attack unprovoked, to cause injury to, or to otherwise endanger the safety of humans or other domestic animals." Pit bull type dogs are automatically defined as "hazardous" and include: American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier and any mixed breed that contains elements of these breeds.
The proposed hazardous dog ordinance requires dog owners to confine the dog in a secure enclosure (secure sides and top); post signs indicating there is a hazardous dog on the property; muzzle and leash the dog when off-owner property; evidence that a microchip has been installed; proof of spay or neuter; and a $250,000 liability insurance policy. Councilmember James Liebrecht said, "It's a privilege, not a right to have a vicious animal."
Dog Registration Amendment
The ordinance amendment (page 4), which applies to all dogs, says that dog owners must submit a file to the city at the time of registration that includes: the dog's birth date, breed, name, statement of how the dog was obtained, when it was brought into the city and veterinary records. If applicable, the file would also contain enforcement action taken against the animal, animal shelter records, training records, temperance tests and obedience class information.
DogsBite.org has not seen a dog registration ordinance like this before. It is very interesting.
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