I posted the contact information for Marion County a couple days ago, but I have included it again after the article. The county officials are reviewing the ordinances of Ontario, Canada and Denver. Let's POLITELY educate them on the problems associated with BSL
and also make sure they get some good, non-breed specific ordinances to look. ~ Jodi
Ordinance on ownership of vicious dogs sought
Marion County Planning Commission to address matter during June meeting
By Mallory Panuska
Times West Virginian
FAIRMONT — The potential creation of an ordinance to ban or regulate the ownership of vicious dogs within the county was presented to the Marion County Planning Commission Thursday evening.
And before the body’s next meeting, members at least expect to have enough information for a discussion on the subject.
Originally brought before the county commission last week, the request to create this type of law stemmed from the recent killing of a Sheltie owned by Benton’s Ferry resident Mike Chapman.
Chapman said his wife was walking the dog in their neighborhood approximately three weeks ago when a neighbor’s pit bull allegedly freed itself from its fenced-in yard and attacked and killed their pet.
Chapman said he ultimately hopes that a legal body will completely ban this particular breed of dog within county borders.
“These dogs have a certain reputation, and it’s very clear from this attack how bad it can be,” he said. “I don’t think anybody will deny how vicious they are.”
Currently, the matter is awaiting a June 15 trial in which the owner of the dog was charged with harboring a vicious animal, and the dog has since been confined.
With claims that an ordinance regulating dogs should not be breed-specific, Robert Tuttle, another county resident and the former owner of four of these types of dogs, also addressed planning commission members with facts and statistics about vicious dogs that he gathered from the Internet.
Stating the term “pit bull” generally refers to a series of three different breeds of dogs, — American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers and Staffordshire bull terriers — Tuttle said that it would not be feasible to specifically ban or regulate “pit bulls.”
He suggested instead that the county look into creating a broad vicious-dog ordinance to ban or regulate all dangerous canines within county borders.
To address these concerns, County Planner Richard Walton presented planning commission members with copies of ordinances from Ontario, Canada, a region of Missouri and Denver, Colo., which ban and regulate the ownership of breeds of pit bulls.
Upon receiving this information and the facts from both Chapman and Tuttle, members agreed to look at the issue and address it at their next meeting in June.
“You both bring very strong arguments, and I recommend we take this matter under advisement and look at it for our next meeting,” said Planning Commission Chair Kevin Wilfong. “We’ll see if we can shake something.”
In other business, planning commission members reviewed chapter 15 of its working comprehensive county plan, which addresses public safety.
In this base document, the office of emergency services, emergency service personnel, additional service providers, assets, liabilities, goals and other information dealing with public safety within the county were broken down and addressed.
To help go over the information in this document, Chris McIntire, director of the Marion County Office of Emergency Services, also attended the meeting.
With only suggestions to add more details to the police services section, which will be addressed by McIntire, Walton said the document should be sufficient.
Walton said the planning commission will address the chapter on economic development next, which may be linked with transportation due to overlapping themes.
Walton added that if the commission stays on the track it is on with finishing a chapter a month, he thinks the group may be able to finish all the chapters of the base document by December.
“If we keep getting quorums and I keep finishing a chapter a month, we’re going to be in good shape,” he said.
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Marion County Clerk
217 Adams Street
Fairmont, WV 26554(304) 367-5440FAX (304) 367-5447JaniceCosco@ marioncountywv. com
Marion County Commission
(304) 367-5400200 Jackson StreetFairmont, WV 26554 Commissioners:
Bless the Bullys - Defending Dog - Bull Breed Alliance of Tennessee