Caraway City Council approves pit bull dog ordinance

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Caraway Mayor Barry Riley informed the city council Thursday evening about a new ordinance that has been in the works for quite some time.

“I’m pleased to announce we have a new ordinance (Pit Bull Ordinance 2017-6) regarding pit bull dogs in the city of Caraway,” Riley said. “This ordinance is amending the animal control laws of the city of Caraway; defining pit bull dogs and declaring them dangerous animals; exempting certain service dogs; describing measures of control of the dogs by the animal control officer, including impoundment and destruction; setting penalties for owners in violation; amending ordinance 2004-4; declaring an emergency.”

The city of Caraway has recently had several pit bull attacks and the board as well as the citizens increasing concern is at an all-time high.

The ordinance states, “A Pit Bull Dog is a dog determined to be a Pit Bull Dog if any of the following apply”:

a. The dog is Bull Terrier breed of dog.

b. The dog is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed of dog.

c. The dog is an American Pit Bull Terrier breed of dog.

d. The dog is an American Staffordshire Terrier breed of dog.

e. The dog is a mixed breed or of other breeds than above listed breed or mixed breed known as Pit Bull Dogs or Pit Bull Terrier.

f. Any dog which has the appearance and characteristics of being predominately of the breeds of Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier; any other breed commonly known as Pit Bulls, Pit Bull Dogs or Pit Bull Terriers; or a combination of any of these breeds.

A Pit Bull Dog is a dangerous animal, pursuant to the Caraway Animal Control Ordinances.

Riley also said, “It shall be unlawful to keep, harbor, own or in any way possess a dangerous dog within the corporate city limits of Caraway, except when transporting to a veterinarian office (restrained and muzzled).”

When determining whether an animal is deemed dangerous or not, the ordinance specifically specifies, “An Animal Control officer shall deem a canine to be a dangerous dog if the Animal Control Officer determines that the canine satisfies the definition of a dangerous dog, in addition to dogs specifically enumerated as dangerous dogs herein.” In addition, the ordinance also states, “A dog will be considered dangerous if it is the offspring of a domestic dog and an innately wild animal...the behavior of the dog should not be considered dangerous if the dog was provoked or teased.”

Regarding the authorized impoundment and destruction of the pit bull dogs, the ordinance also states:

1. The Animal Control Officer shall take into custody any animal found kept in the city that is a dangerous dog or dangerous animal and shall impound the animal in an Animal Facility or such other place as such Animal Control Officer may designate for the purpose of impoundment.

2. Such impounded animal shall be held for a period of five (5) business days, at the end of which time the animal may be destroyed unless custody of the animal is released prior thereto as provided in other portions of the Caraway Animal Control ordinances.

3. Such animal may be destroyed prior to the expiration of such five (5) business day waiting period when such animal has been seriously injured or seriously ill and destruction would eliminate suffering on the part of the animal and would constitute the humane solution to such animal’s suffering.

4. Such animal may be destroyed prior to the expiration of the five (5) business waiting period when such animal presents itself in a vicious or dangerous manner that places the public or the Animal Control Officer or employees in ongoing danger and such destruction would eliminate this threat.

Riley felt the board should take a few meetings (roughly three months) to pass the ordinance because he, “wanted to give the citizens time to find a place for their dogs.” However, chairman Mitchell Tipton disagreed.

“I’m not for waiting three months to pass this ordinance because school will be out May 26, and we will have a whole summer with kids riding their bikes as well as playing in the streets,” Tipton said. “Right now, we have citizens afraid to walk the streets and I don’t want to see another attack just as well as I know that you guys don’t want to.”

The board passed the ordinance that went into effect May 11, 2017, but will be enforced starting June 2, 2017. Persons with any questions regarding the new ordinance, should contact the Caraway City Hall.

Riley also informed the board the fire rating has come in and the city of Caraway will go from a Class 6 to a Class 4. “The insurance companies want the citizens to call so their rates can be reduced,” Riley said. “I called about my insurance and got it lowered about $130 a year.”

In other business:

*Riley informed the board the land behind the dollar store (5.6 acres) will cost roughly $75,000 to get a sewer line placed. The land will be sold for $18,000/acre (negotiable on the buyer).

*Riley also proposed that sidewalk work on the streets of Kelly/San Francisco and Dallas/Tennessee be postponed until a sufficient bid is obtained.

*Riley spoke about ball park complaints and indicated they will be resolved and worked out.

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  • Congratulations to yet another City Council that values the lives of its citizens over that of a dog. Way to go! Bravo!

    -- Posted by SanrinaB on Tue, May 16, 2017, at 3:59 PM
  • I read with dismay the passing of your new law ordinance deeming all Bully breeds to be dangerous. This is not only untrue but very unfair to innocent voiceless animals,creations of God.Owners who encourage a dog of any breed to be aggressive are to be blamed, not the dog. Owners who fail to get adequate training for their dog are also at fault, but the poor dog will pay with its life for that ignorance.This new law is wrong and unfair to a whole combinations of bully breeds. So I ask you what about dobermans,Rottweilers,, ,cane corso, dogo argentonio ,great danes,chow chow,bull mastiffs? All breed based laws are arbitrary and do little to protect the public from anything. I hope the owners of bully breeds, or apparently any dog which resembles the breed object to this new ordinance.its just not right to discriminate against one breed. Punish the deed, not the breed. I'm in Massachusetts, here there are laws in place which make what you're doing illegal, as it should be.No city or town in this state can pass an ordinance, law, bylaw,banning any breed. This law was passed a few years ago, and we don't seem to be over run with dangerous dogs as a result. Down with BSL, all it does is traumatize families and their pets and the children who love them.

    -- Posted by anniebelle on Sat, May 20, 2017, at 1:43 PM
  • While it is the City Council's prerogative to make ignorant decisions, the cruelty here is exacerbated by the miniscule time limit given to owners - the majority of whom have been responsible with dogs that have harmed no one - to comply or have their beloved pet killed.

    What a backwards decision in light of progress made through education & ownership regulation vs failure of BSL to reduce dog bites (Denver, Aurora, Sioux City). I would remember who voted for this ineffective bandaid law & get them out of office next election.

    -- Posted by Anisoptera on Sat, May 20, 2017, at 11:22 PM
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