South Bend council looks to change dog ordinance

By: NewsCenter16 Staff Email
By: NewsCenter16 Staff Email

A South Bend Common Council member has proposed a moratorium on the euthanasia of pit bulls in the city.

Under the current policy, any dogs that appear to be pit bulls are put down if they’re dropped off at the South Bend shelter.

Council Vice President Oliver Davis proposed the idea at a special committee meeting on animal care and control.

The committee is looking to rewrite the chapter of the city’s municipal code that deals with animals.

They say that it has become outdated and discriminatory against certain breeds, specifically the American Pit Bull Terrier.

Animal control officers are not trained in identifying pit bulls. Current procedures for identifying the animals are not always accurate.

Because of this, the committee wants to change the current ordinance to apply simply to “dangerous dogs” without specifying any certain breeds.

“We're looking at the breed discriminatory language that exists in south bend's ordinance because unfortunately animals are being judged simply on their appearance, not on their behavior or temperament,” said South Bend 3rd District Councilwoman Valerie Schey.

The committee is also looking to change the number of pets allowed per household as well as changing the way cats are treated in shelters – most are immediately put down when they’re brought in.

Officials hope to have a decision by the end of the month.

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