Pro-Human and Pro-Humane
Indianapolis, IN - City-County Council Member Mike Speedy intends to file his "At Risk" dog proposal today in an effort to address the city's growing number of pit bull attacks. Speedy made the announcement yesterday while standing in front of the home of Brenda Hill, a woman who lost part of her leg after two pit bulls attacked her in January. "We've tried outreach. We've tried education. But we need to admit that (pit bull advocates) need our legislative help," he said.
City County Councillor Offers Proactive Solution to Indy’s Most At Risk Dog, the Pit Bull
(View news release) "Friday, April 24th, Councillor Mike Speedy will file a proposal called the At Risk Dog proposal. He is making this announcement at Brenda Hill’s house standing side-by-side with her family. The At Risk Dog proposal is designed to protect people from devastating dog bites and pit bull breeds from abuse. Additionally, it requires more humane treatment for all dogs such as prohibiting direct point chaining, higher fines for violations with unaltered dogs and that all dogs and cats leaving the Indianapolis Animal Care & Control be spayed or neutered."
The "At Risk" Ordinance Includes:
- Require pit bull owners to spay or neuter their dogs.
- Prohibit residents from owning more than two pit bulls more than 8 weeks old.
- Require pit bull owners to register their dogs with the city.
- Allow the city to revoke an owner's pit bull permit if that owner mistreated the dog.
- Allow the city to require any dog it declared dangerous -- usually for attacking a person or animal -- to be muzzled in public.
- Allow the city to require any owner who mistreats a dog to purchase liability insurance.
- Fine the owner of any dog running loose that is not spayed or neutered.
- Restrict the ways owners can chain their dogs.
Many local pit bull advocacy groups are opposed to the ordinance, which seeks to protect pit bulls from abuse and to provide a safer environment for citizens. Cynthia Morgan, a member of the Indy Pit Crew, which promotes the breed, said, "Even if it says that poodles have to wear pink collars, were against the whole idea." Morgan's attitude illustrates just how unwilling the pit bull community is to consider a breed-specific law in which pit bulls are the primary benefactors.
Speedy sums up the opposition by saying that his opponents "think you're criminalizing the dog when actually we're trying to protect it from criminals." He argues that targeting pit bulls makes sense in a city with a pit bull problem. The proposal will appear on the agenda at the May 4 City County Council meeting, but will not be discussed until subsequent committee meetings. During these future meetings, council members will lay out a procedure for accepting public input.
04/13/09: Little Rock Pit Bull Law Shows Results; Indy Proposes Similar Law
03/07/09: Coverage of Indianapolis Serious Pit Bull Attacks and Controversy