Residents petition to end North Dakota city's pit bull ban
Jan. 19, 2018
MINOT, N.D. (AP) — Opponents of Minot's law banning pit bulls are circulating petitions to change it after the City Council rejected a repeal of the breed-specific legislation.
Minot resident Lianne Zeltinger is collecting signatures to put a measure on the June 12 ballot recommending that the city adopt a dangerous dog ordinance instead of banning breeds, the Minot Daily News reported . Zeltinger needs about 2,800 signatures to put the issue on the ballot.
Minot City Council voted 6-1 Wednesday against overturning the ban that prohibits city residents from owning pit bulls. But council members also unanimously approved drafting a dangerous dog ordinance.
Mayor Chuck Barney said he couldn't support a repeal of the ban because of his understanding of aggressive dog breeds. Barney said pit bull bites are "often catastrophic."
Council member Josh Wolsky said he doesn't know if a dangerous dog ordinance would be a better way to mitigate risk.
"If we are going to lift the ban, I would like to see some additional things, like perhaps requiring that animals be microchipped, perhaps requiring that they have completed certain kinds of training and so forth," said council member Mark Jantzer.
Shannon Straight chaired the animal ordinance committee. He's the only council member who voted to repeal the ban.
Straight said current law is too subjective because it requires identifying pit bulls by appearance. He said pet licensing compliance and dangerous animal ordinances are better options.
"I think we have to put the onus a little bit more back on you all to be more responsible," Straight told the dog owners in attendance.
Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com