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Please send your POLITE AND RESPECTFUL opposition to breed specific legislation to the Wabash city officials listed below. Please also send them alternate ordinances.

The Mayor's Office
202 S. Wabash
Wabash, IN 46992
(260) 563-4171

The City Attorney's Office
3 W Canal St
Wabash, IN 46992
(260) 569-0590

The Clerk-Treasurer' s Office
202 S. Wabash
Wabash, IN 46992
(260) 563-4171

[email protected] cityofwabash. com

City Council
2nd and 4th Monday (of Every Month)
6:00 @ City Hall

Mayor Robert E. Vanlandingham
674 Valley Brook Lane
Wabash, IN 46992 Scott Long, President
1660 Vernon St.
Wabash, IN 46992
Paul Lewis
504 W. Harrison Avenue
Wabash, IN 46992 Joan C. Haag
1176 Falls Ave.
Wabash, IN 46992
Margaret (Boo) Salb
557 Sommers Ave.
Wabash, IN 46992 Lisa Hearn
112 E. Main St.
Wabash, IN 46992
Harold Chatlosh
P.O. Box 511
Wabash, IN 46992 Marc Shelley
61 W. Maple St.
Wabash, IN 46992

City eyes pit bull ordinance

One day last year, Dave Monroe found himself cornered in his garage by a neighbor's pit bull.

On Monday night, Oct. 22, he was at the Wabash City Council meeting calling for tougher regulations against pit bulls. After some discussion, the Council unanimously agreed to have the mayor look into the issue.

Mayor Bob Vanlandingham, in turn, asked the Council members to talk to their constituents in an effort to get a feeling for what the community wants in this arena.

Monroe came to the meeting well-armed with statistics on dog bites in general and pit bulls specifically, and videos taken of pit bull attacks.

He noted that every 40 seconds someone in the United States seeks medical attention for a dog bite and there are approximately 800,000 bites per year - one out of every six - that require medical treatment, according to the Dog Bite Law Center Web site.

Dog bites send nearly 368,000 victims to hospital emergency departments per year - 1,008 per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And 60 percent of the people bitten are under the age of 10, Monroe said.

Dog bite losses exceed $1 billion per year, with more than $300 million paid by insurance companies.

Most of the victims who receive medical attention are children, half of whom are bitten in the face.

Approximately 26 people die per year, according to Dog Bite Law Web site.

A 65-year-old woman who was killed by a pack of dogs in Oklahoma earlier this month was the 26th victim this year, according to Dog Bite Victim.com

"These dogs (pit bulls) were bred to fight," Monroe told the Council. "It's in their blood - and we're making pets out of them."

Monroe, who lives at 87 S. East St., said he's been told the neighbor in question has two adult pit bulls, a younger one and a boxer. Luckily, he said, the owner was only 10 seconds behind the pit bull that cornered him in his garage.

"I had a crowbar in my hand and was ready for an attack, but I wouldn't have stood a chance if she hadn't shown up," he told the Plain Dealer. "Nobody should have to live like that."

He added that there is a school bus stop just three doors down from the rental property where all these dogs live.

Monroe also read to the Council the following segment from the Dog Bite Law Center Web site under the heading "top biting breeds":

"Among the deadliest and most vicious of all dog breeds with killer instincts, originally bred to fight and kill other dogs, pit bulls are now widely popular as companion dogs, especially in American cities.

"Their popularity is strange given their homicidal history and aggressive in-bred traits, but that is seemingly part of the appeal. With its powerful jaws, thick skull and muscular legs the American pit bull terrier (and related breeds) makes short work of children and adults it attacks, often maiming them for life."

While making up less than 2 percent of the dog population, Monroe noted, pit bulls account for a third of all fatal dog bites in the U.S.

'Wabash has a leash law," Monroe said, "but that's intended to keep dogs from annoying you. A leash means nothing to a bit pull."

Monroe would like to see a law in Wabash that would do four things:

- Require a permit to own a pit bull

- Have owners carry liability insurance in the amount of $50,000. (He noted that most homeowners insurance does not cover pit bulls, and, in fact, some insurance companies will cancel your insurance if they find out you own a pit bull.)

- Require owners to have the pit bull checked by a veterinarian every year.

- Require owners to have a facility to adequately confine the animal(s).

Monroe said Fort Wayne recently set up a panel to look into what could be done to regulate pit bulls. He said he hopes to attend some of their meetings to learn more.


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