Officials adopt pit bull, vicious dogs ordinance
The Associated Press
The city of Cleveland has adopted its own ordinance for dealing with pit bulls and other vicious dogs and will no longer follow the ordinance in place in Bolivar County.
"We've been living under the county's ordinance. The city of Cleveland is in the county and has been covered," said Mayor David Work.
Police Chief Drew Warren said a city ordinance will give his officers more authority and better guidelines for dealing with the dog issues.
Alderman Gary Gainspoletti raised the issue this month after a dog-on-dog incident in the city.
"I could care less what the county is doing. We need to have our own," he said. "I don't want to look these people in the
face if a child gets hurt. You can't go walking, jogging or enjoy the outdoors."
The Board of Aldermen this past week adopted an ordinance drawn up by City Attorney John White Valentine.
Warren said he would begin notifying those he knows to have pit bulls immediately as to the new rules, which require them to register the dogs with the Cleveland-Bolivar County Animal Shelter.
The ordinance also would require owners of pit bulls and other named vicious dogs to be 21 years old. No person could have more than three vicious dogs at a single residence or business. The dogs also must be neutered or spayed and kept in secured pens.
The ordinance requires dog owners to have a liability insurance policy in an amount not less than $100,000.
At any time that a dog is not confined as required, the ordinance requires the dog to be on a leash and muzzled. A dog cannot be walked within 50 feet of any public school ground nor enter onto a school ground.