CEDAR FALLS | Change may be on the way to the city's dangerous animal ordinance. The Cedar Falls City Council is beginning to look into the issue after several council members received two email complaints about aggressive animals within the last two weeks.

"This is the first time that anyone's ever complained or offered a concern about this directly to me, and it’s interesting they both came within two weeks,” said Councilman at-large Nick Taiber.

Taiber said the emailed complaints dealt primarily with attacks by pit bulls within the city limits that went unreported to the police.

Concerned, Taiber requested Police Chief Jeff Olson look into the number of aggressive animal attacks in the area with an emphasis on pit bulls.

According to Olson, there were 471 animal-related calls last year, 29 of which were aggressive in nature. Of those 29 incidents, six involved pit bulls or "a similar breed." The calls involved one to two pit bulls either chasing people or attacking another dog. Olson noted two of the six reported incidents involved the same dog at the same location on different dates.

So far this year -- according to figures from January to Nov. 4 -- there have been 432 animal calls, 18 of which are listed as aggressive. Of those 18 incidents, only two were involved pit bulls. One reported incident on June 22 involved a pit bull running loose and behaving aggressively. In a separate incident on Oct. 30, a pit bull almost attacked another dog and its owner.

With these numbers in mind, Taiber is hoping to bring about a gradual change in how the city deals with owners of aggressive animals. The city of Waterloo is also investigating making changes to its animal ordinance following a rash of pit bull attacks earlier this year.

It is important, Taiber said, that any changes Cedar Falls makes to its city code focus on irresponsible pet owners rather than singling out a particular breed of dog.

"I don’t want an ordinance to ban a particular kind of dog,” Taiber said. "I want to strengthen our nuisance ordinance.”

Taiber, who has written about the issue in an online blog, thinks it’s a matter of personal responsibility. While Taiber is happy with the city’s current ordinance, he thinks negligent pet owners should be subject to stiffer fines, especially those who are repeat offenders.

He hopes further discussion among council members will be productive in eventually crafting a new ordinance.

“In no way, shape or form do I think it’s acceptable to live in a community where we fear to walk down a street or a trail or bike downtown,” Taiber said.

General assignment reporter for the Courier

(8) comments

IowanAtheist
IowanAtheist

To me, this sounds like the current laws are working -- only 2 cases in a year? With an issue like this, thats a pretty acceptable rate -- short of outright banning all dogs, that's going to happen....

Fayclis
Fayclis

Mr. Taiber is a wise man. I sincerely hope Cedar Falls City Council listens to his suggestions. It is only when "reckless owners" are seriously taken to task that public safety will be improved. If bad owners haven't "learned" anything the first time; it is time to hit them over the head with serious re-percussions. Kudos for common sense Mr. Taiber.

Bye Bye Pit Bulls
Bye Bye Pit Bulls

Letter received from a pit bull owner:

I was an upper middle-class pit bull owner just like you. My husband is a doctor and I am a stay-at-home soccer mom and we live in a lovely suburban neighborhood. We got our dog as a puppy from a reputable breeder and put her through puppy classes and basic obedience. She was spayed and properly vaccinated, stayed indoors and was very loved. I used to defend the breed to everyone I met, just like you. I used to think I knew my dog inside and out, and I was sure she would never, ever hurt my child.

Then my dog turned 3 and, literally overnight, her dog-aggression came out. She tried to attack the neighbor's poodle through the backyard fence (she had been in a fenced yard beside this same dog literally thousands of times with no show of aggression).

When my 8 year old daughter tried to pull her away from the fence, our pit bull locked onto her forearm (she only got her forearm because my daughter threw it up to protect her face, she was going for the face) and it took 8 minutes for my husband to beat her off, he eventually wound up using the weed whacker, after a baseball bat broke over the dog's back without even being noticed by her. My daughter lost partial use of her right arm and she is still relearning all of the basic skills with her left. Her life will never be the same.

We have been accused of being at fault for not "being there to call off the dog". Well, we were there, we were sitting on patio chairs watching my daughter throw a ball for our pet, who she had spent three years playing with and which had never shown so much as a lip lift to anyone or anything up to that point. We couldn't, physically, call off the dog.

We couldn't physically BEAT off the dog for over 5 minutes. After the dog was off my daughter, my husband was on the ground struggling with it to keep it from going at her again as I pulled her into the house. There was so much blood that I kept sliding on it and falling down. There are still blood stains on the patio almost 2 years later. All the dog wanted was to get back on my daughter and finish the job. The dog didn't make any noise while she was
attacking and her tail was wagging faster and harder than it had ever wagged
before. I believed then, and I believe now, that that dog was the happiest it
had ever been when it was locked onto my daughter and trying to kill her.

Let me tell you, you have no idea - none - how completely different pit bulls are from normal pet dogs. When that dog was triggered she went from being a goofy pet and companion to being a cold-blooded predator in a millisecond. You cannot imagine what it is like knowing that your dog is trying to kill your child and knowing that it might just succeed because it is stronger than you are. There is nothing like it in the world.

There was no news coverage of my dog's attack on my daughter. None. So much for the overhyped media aspect, hush?

You are insane to own a fighting dog when you have children. Absolutely insane. I wish we had been protected from our own stupidity by legislation. What is worse is that you are also, by your own admission of a picket fence the dog could easily escape over, putting other people's children at risk. Fighting dogs are not pets and we need laws in place to protect people from them.

P.S. You are also insane if you take your fighting breed dog to a dog park, besides being pathologically narcissistic and criminally selfish.

McCartney Exposed
McCartney Exposed

Made up letter by DBO members. NO LINK.

ByeByeMcCartney
ByeByeMcCartney

DBO debunked again and again and again ...............

Bye Bye Pit Bulls
Bye Bye Pit Bulls

28 dead by dog attack so far in 2013.
Pit bull type dogs killed twenty-six of them. fifteen of the twenty-six dead are children.
Stars indicate people killed by a ‘family’ pit bull – ones that had been raised and cherished as an indoor pet, ‘never showed aggression before’, and knew the victim.

Child fatalities by pit bull type dog (15):
Christian Gormanous - 4 yrs old Montgomery County, TX
Isaiah Aguilar - 2 yrs old Sabinal, TX
Ryan Maxwell - 7 yrs old ** Galesburg, IL.
Dax Borchardt - 14 mos old ** Walworth, WI.
Monica Laminack - 21 mos old ** Ellabelle, GA.
Tyler Jett - 7 yrs old Callaway, FL.
Jordyn Arndt - 4 yrs old ** Prairie City, IA.
Beau Rutledge - 2 yrs old ** Fulton County, GA.
Ayden Evans- 5 yrs old ** Jessieville, AR.
Nephi Selu – 6 yrs old ** Union City, CA.
Arianna Jolee Merrbach – 5 yrs old Effingham, SC.
Daniel (surname as yet not revealed) – 2 yrs old (Gilbert, Arizona) **
Samuel Eli Zamudio – 2 yrs old** Colton, CA
Jordan Ryan– 5 yrs old Baker city, Oregon
Levi Watson-Bradford-4 years old** White County, Arkansas

Adult fatalities by pit bull type (11):
Betty Todd - 65 yrs old ** Hodges, SC
Elsie Grace - 91 yrs old ** Hemet, CA
Claudia Gallardo - 38 yrs old Stockton, CA.
Pamela Devitt - 63 yrs old Littlerock, CA.
Carlton Freeman - 80 yrs old Harleyville, SC.
Linda Oliver – 63 yrs old Dayton, TX.
James Harding - 62 yrs old -Baltimore, MD
chased into traffic by two attacking pit bulls
Juan Campos – 96 yrs old Katy, Texas.
Terry Douglass 56 years old. **Baltimore, MD
Katherine Atkins-25 years old ** Kernersville, NC
Nga Woodhead-65 years old Spanaway, WA.

(1 non-pit type killing) [Rachel Honabarger - 35 yrs old - mauled to death by her own GSD mix] Coshocton, OH.

(1 husky-mix killing, unknown if the other half of the dog was pit bull) [Jordan Lee Reed – 5 yrs old] Kotzebue, AK

Two of the pit bull type dogs were BULL mastiffs, ie 40% pit-fighting bulldog.

If 24 of 28 dead were killed by pit bull attack, that's 86% dead by pit attack, 7% dead by 'molosser', 3.5% by some kind of GSD mix, 3.5% by a husky + possibly pit mix

If you count the pit-mix mastiffs as pit bull types, that's 93% killed by attacking pit bull types. Pit types are only about 5% of the entire dog population.

The man who ran into traffic kept pit bulls himself. He knew perfectly well what the two stranger pit bulls that were chasing him would do if they caught him, so he preferred to risk a swift death by oncoming car.

474 maimed by pit type dogs 2013 (as of November 9).

Bye Bye Pit Bulls
Bye Bye Pit Bulls

Of the 4,098 dogs involved in fatal and disfiguring attacks on humans occurring in the past 30.5 years,

2,540 (62%) were pit bulls;

530 were Rottweilers;

3,295 were of related molosser breeds, including pit bulls, Rottweilers, Cane Corsos, mastiffs, boxers, and their mixes.

Of the 507 human fatalities,

256 were killed by pit bulls;

84 were killed by Rottweilers;

378 (69%) were killed by molosser breeds.

Of the 2,264 people who were disfigured,

1,455 (61%) were disfigured by pit bulls;

304 were disfigured by Rottweilers;

1,861 (82%) were disfigured by molosser breeds.

Bye Bye Pit Bulls
Bye Bye Pit Bulls

Dog Attack Deaths and Maimings, U.S. & Canada, September 1982 to May.25, 2013.

By compiling U.S. and Canadian press accounts between 1982 and 2013, Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People, shows the breeds most responsible for serious injury and death.

Study highlights

Pit bull type dogs make up only 6% of all dogs in the USA.

The combination of Pit Bulls, rottweilers, their close mixes and wolf hybrids and other Pit Bull Type Dogs:

84% of attacks that induce bodily harm.

75% of attacks to children.

87% of attack to adults.

72% of attacks that result in fatalities.

80% that result in maiming.

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