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Please send your POLITE AND RESPECTFUL opposition to breed specific legislation (as well as educational materials) to the city officials listed below.

Jodi

City Clerk's Office
City County Building
One Main Street, Room 122
Fort Wayne, IN 46802
Phone: 260-427-1221
[email protected] ft-wayne. in.us

Mayor Richard Graham
[email protected]- wayne.in. us
(260) 427-1111

CITY COUNCIL
One Main Street
Room 290
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802
260.427.1445
Fax: 260.427.2979

City Council Office Assistant
[email protected] ci.ft-wayne. in.us
(260) 427-1445

Panel to analyze dog regulations
Safety categories, barring breeds possible changes
By Benjamin Lanka
The Journal Gazette

Certain dog breeds could be banned in Fort Wayne as a City Council-led group examines whether the city's dog-bite laws need to be strengthened.

City Councilmen Tim Pape, D-5th, and Tom Didier, R-3rd, Monday announced the creation of a community panel to examine the city's dog laws. The panel will be educated on local laws and bite data, have a public hearing and make recommendations within a month, according to Belinda Lewis, director of Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control.

Lewis said the group will have two main focuses. The first is whether any types of breed-specific laws are needed in the city. Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson called for a ban on pit bulls earlier this year, which Lewis said made it all the more appropriate to discuss it locally.

The second focus is whether the city needs a way to classify dogs as potentially dangerous if they have escaped and bitten a human or other dog. The city can fine owners of dogs, but can only label a dog as dangerous, which requires it to be killed.

Lewis said the intermediate classification would require more responsibility from the dog's owner, including having the dog spayed or neutered, which she said reduces the aggressiveness of dogs.

It is important to examine the laws so the city doesn't react to a tragic incident with overkill legislation that is based on an emotional response, Lewis said.

Pape, who doesn't own a dog, said dog bites can be a traumatic event, and it is proper to examine whether the city's laws are strong enough.

Didier, who owns a Shih Tzu named Lucy, said he has received some calls from residents on dog issues. He said he looked forward to learning more about all the issues as part of the panel.

Lewis said the group would begin meeting this week and should have recommendations within a month. The 16-member group includes neighborhood officials, police officers and animal advocates. A public hearing to discuss the possibilities will be scheduled for later this month.

http://www.journalg azette.net/ apps/pbcs. dll/article? AID=/20071002/ LOCAL/710020394/ -1/LOCAL07

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