Pit Bull Attacks Prompt Waterloo to Consider New Ordinance
By Forrest Saunders, Reporter
WATRELOO, Iowa - Three pit bull attacks in one week have the city of Waterloo looking to tighten the leash on pit bull owners.
City leaders worry that pit bulls are becoming a public safety issue, and tonight the city council talked about how to address the problem.
Just Tuesday morning, as Waterloo police tried to round up a loose pit bull in the 400 block of Cherry Street, the dog bit an officer. And a week ago, two pit bulls and a Boston Terrier mix attacked a boy and a woman on Riehl Street in Waterloo.
The 13-year-old boy suffered bites and scratches before getting away, but the 65-year-old woman was bitten 200 times.
Police shot and killed one of the pit bulls involved in that attack.
During a special work session, Tuesday evening, the council considered drafting a new ordinance to curb attacks, but what it will look like is up in the air.
Some options target pit bull breeds, specifically. One idea would require a special license for pit bulls. Another, implant the animals with microchips for identification. Other options include, limiting the number of pit bulls per home, or require they be sprayed and neutered.
One animal control officer said the city needs to stop out of control pit bull breeding in backyards.
“Until we get a hold of this problem that we have with the backyard breeding, we are going to continually have a problem here,” said Officer Maria Tiller.
Animal Control’s director Sandie Greco suggested the council look at changes that would affect all breeds of dog. She mentioned eliminating warnings and handing out more citations to owners for dogs at large, no proof of vaccinations or license.
“We need to put some hefty fines out there for these people. It seems once you reach their checkbook, or their cash flow, then they listen to you,” Greco said.
Though the work session had no time for public comment, some Waterloo residents had ideas of their own. Twelve-year-old Tanner Cornwell used a BB gun last week to stop two pit bulls from attacking that 65-year-old woman. He thought an ordinance should target the breed.
“That or either no pit bulls in Waterloo,” said Tanner.
On the other side, some said current ordinances are good enough, they just need to be enforced.
“There is no way you can legally have a loose dog in the city of Waterloo. All we have to do is enforce that and fine the people,” said Randy Herod of Waterloo.
City council members talked about forming a committee to create an ordinance. They said it could take weeks before anything is drafted.
What's On KCRG