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ND: Petition started to reverse pit bull ban in Devils Lake

Discussion in 'Laws & Legislation' started by Vicki, Dec 13, 2016.

  1. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Staff Member

    Petition started to reverse pit bull ban in Devils Lake
    By April Baumgarten 12/13/16 at 8:55 a.m.

    DEVILS LAKE—Pit bull lovers in Devils Lake have started a petition to overturn the city's decades-old ban on dogs with pit bull features.

    Pretty Paws, a pet grooming business at 406 Fifth St. N.E., will have the petition at its office beginning this morning, according to the Pretty Paw Facebook page. The petition needs 444 signatures—15 percent of the number of people who voted in the last gubernatorial election—from Devils Lake residents who live within city limits to be placed to a public vote.

    Devils Lake's pit bull ban has been in place since 1987, meaning anyone who has a dog that falls under a pit bull breed or mix could face up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.

    The City Commission revisited the ban at the request of Amanda McDonough, who told commissioners she wants to adopt a pit bull but can't because she lives within city limits. Despite language on the books that already addresses dangerous animals, the commission in November voted 3-2 to uphold the ban, citing concerns from residents who fear a pit bull may hurt someone.

    If the petitioners gather enough signatures, the commission would have two options: pass an ordinance with unaltered language from the petition within 20 days of the document receiving certified approval from the city's auditor or call a special election. If the majority of qualified voters,—they need not have voted in the last gubernatorial election—the ordinance would become law and could not be repealed or amended except by a vote of the people.

    There is no time limit on how long the petitioners have to collect signatures, City Administrator Terry Johnston said.


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