The following article, reprinted from the Caledonia Argus newspaper, will fill you in on what's going on:
Now, I don't intend to minimize, in any way, the horror of what happened to Ms. Olson and her beloved miniature pinscher. The truth is: what happened to Ms. Olson and her little dog is a travesty! The dog that attacked and killed that poor little min-pin, while it was innocently (and legally!) walking down the street, should not have been running loose! Why was he running free? Where was his owner? What had happened in that Pit Bull's past to cause it to be so viscous? And WHY was a dog that had been previously designated as "dangerous", because of a previous attack, not under supervision???
Council looking to ban any new pit bulls within the city limitsBy Charlie Warner
Spurred on by an attack of a pit bull that resulted in the death of another dog and injuries to its owner, the Caledonia City Council spent considerable time discussing the creation of a dangerous and vicious animal ordinance last week.
According to Caledonia Police Chief Kurt Zehnder, Helen Olson was walking her miniature pinscher along the 800 block of East Grove Street on May 8 around 1 p.m. when a pit bull attacked the small dog, mauled it and ultimately killed it. Olson sustained injuries to her hand as she attempted to pull the pit bull from her dog. Her injuries required medical attention.
The pit bull was taken into custody by City Animal Control Officer Mike Gavin and observed for 10 days. The dog had all its shots. But it was discovered the dog had a micro chip identifying the animal as a potentially dangerous dog. The micro chip was placed in the dog, per state statute, following an attack that occurred when the dog was not living in Caledonia.
The dog has been put down.
“We need to put our foot down on this issue,” Zehnder told the council. “I was there. I saw what happened. It was horrendous. What happened to that small dog made me sick. We were so fortunate that a child wasn’t involved. We could have had a fatality.”
Gavin told the council that the only breed of dog he has had issues with are pit bulls and half-breed pit bulls.
“I believe the background and the breeding of this type of dog makes them quite vicious. This is one breed of dog I really don’t think we want in our community,” Gavin said. “What happened on Grove Street is indescribable.”
Zehnder said there are other cities that do not allow pit bulls. He cited Minneapolis as one major municipality that has zero tolerance for pit bulls. He added that pit bulls are illegal in the state of Colorado.
“People have had many bad experiences with pit bulls,” Zehnder said. “That’s why they have zero tolerances in many places.”
City Clerk/Administrator Jennifer Feely said City Attorney Tim Murphy recommended that a separate ordinance dealing with vicious dogs be prepared and approved by the council.
It was pointed out that pit bulls currently in Caledonia will be grandfathered in. But, like all dogs, they must be licensed, which will help Gavin and the local police department keep better track of them. But no new pit bulls or half-breeds will be allowed within the city limits.
The topic will be revisited at the June 11 council meeting and the new ordinance possibly approved.
The National Canine Research Council, is an organization that is committed to preserving the human-canine bond. They publish, underwrite, and reprint accurate, documented, reliable research to promote a better understanding of our relationship with dogs. The following is their view on "Responsible Pet Ownership Laws".
It is my sincere hope that the City Council members of Caledonia, MN., will not react out of passion caused by a horrific incident but that they will make an informed, educated decision based on what is good for ALL of the residents of Caledonia ~ both human AND canine.As a society, we strive to create safe, humane communities that are good for people and good for pets. Responsible pet ownership laws help us to achieve these goals by requiring the humane care, custody and control of dogs by all dog owners.
Responsible pet ownership laws set acceptable and achievable standards of pet owner behavior, and then hold people to those standards. The standards should be agreed upon by all of the stakeholders in the community. A typical set of acceptable and achievable standards would include:
1. License your pet and provide permanent ID.2. Provide proper care, training and socialization of your pet.3. Spay and neuter your pet if it is not part of a responsible breeding program. A responsible pet ownership community would never mandate spay/neuter but provides education, makes spay/neuter services accessible and affordable to all citizens, and implements reasonable levels of differential licensing.4. Do not allow your pet to become a threat or nuisance in the community.5. Procure your pet in a responsible manner.
These simple rules, along with enforcement of violations, combined with education to help create better pet owners, result in safe, humane communities.