April 11, 2013 update: Chippewa Falls Council stops short of a ban on “pit bulls.”
From the Chippewa Herald:
Does the city have a vicious dog problem? Thatâ€™s the question Chippewa Falls City Committee 3 will discuss at an upcoming meeting.
â€œWe havenâ€™t set a date yet, but weâ€™ll certainly do something (on) vicious dogs,â€ said Council Member Bill Hicks, vice chair of Committee 3, which deals with public safety issues.
The conversation has been initiated by resident Jillian Wollmer. She told the City Council Tuesday night that on March 29 her husband was chased into a vehicle by a dog she identified as a pit bull, before it and another pit bull mutilated the familyâ€™s cat, Ely, in her yard. Ely had accidentally been let out into the yard earlier by Wollmerâ€™s 21-month-old son, who Wollmer said was fortunately inside the residence at the time of the attack.
The dogs ran off after police officers arrived at the West Central Street residence.
â€œAs of now, the police havenâ€™t found the dogs,â€ Wollmer said Wednesday. â€œTheyâ€™re still out there, and no one knows if theyâ€™ve had any aggressive incidents prior.â€
…â€œThere will be serious discussion about a ban. The way (Wollmer) described her story, it couldâ€™ve been her child hurt or killed,â€ Hicks said. â€œDo we have to wait before someone is seriously injured first before considering this?â€
…Ferg said the cityâ€™s ordinance against dogs running at large is a common citation, though the vicious dog citation applies to more serious incidents that involve injury or potential harm.
â€œThe police are pretty good about when itâ€™s a plain case of an animal running loose by accident and try to give a warning, but when there are repeat cases (of a dog running around) they will get cited,â€ Ferg said.
…â€œI can understand both sides (of the pit bull argument) but I think safety comes first,â€ she said.
Safety should always come first in any community, so why consider a breed ban or breed-specific restrictions for “pit bulls” when it is well known that breed-specific legislation (BSL) doesn’t work?Â Oh, and that there is no actual breed “pit bull” .Â Besides, Chippewa Falls doesn’t have a “pit bull” problem; Chippewa Falls has a free-roaming dog problem.Â
This also isn’t the first time we’ve heard of seemingly unowned dogs, erroneously described as “pit bulls,” free-roaming in target BSL areas.Â Yet, when Animal Control or the police department try to round up these dogs, they are nowhere to be found.Â Curious that.Â Â
For example, when Wisconsin’s next-door neighbor Illinois was targeted for statewide breed-specific legislation, there were similar incidents wherein people or animals were attacked by so-called “pit bulls,” and yet when authorities would go searching for the dogs, they were nowhere to be found.Â In one instance, dogs described as “pit bulls” were spotted being called by the driver of a maroon SUV after attacks.Â The dogs jumped into the SUV and the vehicle drove off. Once the statewide legislation in Illinois was withdrawn, what do you know?Â The attacks just suddenly stopped.Â Again, curious.
Another popular M.O. of those targeting certain areas for BSL is for people to phone in phony reports of supposed “pit bull” attacks on themselves or often their small dogs.Â Anyone can call in a false Animal Control report and give a fake name, and sometimes such unsubstantiated reports are all it takes to propose BSL.