Waunakee, Wisconsin to Review “Pit Bull” Ban in Light of Legal Challenge

As noted in a prior post, a resident of Waunakee, Wisconsin is suing the city after she was told her dog, a supposed “pit bull,” would have to be removed from the village a mere 20 days after police determined her dog was a so-called “pit bull,” a “breed” banned within city limits.   Faced with a legal challenge, the village board will be reviewing its code.

Todd Schmidt, the village’s administrator, said that,

. . . while the villages attorney has advised that the village has a reasonable defense under current case law, the village could revise the ordinance to more effectively protect the public.

No, Waunakee doesn’t have a reasonable defense when its own antiquated ordinance can’t even correctly name the breeds they’re banning.   The circa 1988 ordinance states:

No person shall own, harbor, or keep within the village any dog of the breed Staffordshire terrier, or any other dog known as a pit bull terrier.

Neither “Staffordshire terrier” or “pit bull terrier” is a breed.   Nor does it state that mixed breeds of so-called “pit bulls” are banned, and, “Clay,” the dog in question, is a rescue with untraceable lineage, so to his owners, he is a mutt.  

The village board will discuss the existing ban at its November 4, 2013, meeting.


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