Some thirty plus people attended the Hastings City Council meeting Monday, most of them supporters of pit bull dogs. They were asking why a revision of chapter 14 on vicious animals in the city ordinance deleting any reference to pit bulls as “dangerous dogs” had not been approved two years after the first draft was completed. The group’s spokeswoman, Tammy Berdecia gave the council a packet with information about pit bulls and other municipality’s dog ordinances.
Mayor David Tossava said when they revisited the revised draft ordinance in response to an earlier request, they found it still needed changes dealing with insurance and enforcement and it would take a little more time for Police Chief Jeff Pratt and City Manager Jeff Mansfield and Attorney Stephanie Fekkes to add the language.
Councilman Bill Redman made a motion that the draft be completed and returned to the council for approval by Jan. 1. He put the time limit in the motion because of the two year lapse last time, he said. Berdecia and others said pit bulls are friendly, tolerant dogs that show less threat of biting than other breeds.
“There are good and bad statistics; don’t single out our dogs; they are our family,” Berdecia said.
The council was given information from several sources that supported pit bulls and noted that Hastings is the only community in the immediate area that has “breed specific language” in its ordinance that names pit bulls as dangerous.
No one in the audience responded when asked if there was anyone to speak against pit bulls, however Councilwoman Brenda McNabb-Stange said they were dangerous because of the way they “grasp and don’t let go…that happens a lot in the home. I still have a problem with that.” Councilman Don Bowers said a pit bull killed his small dog, and 46 percent of calls of dog bites were from pit bulls. “There is another side,” he said.