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CRIDERSVILLE — Cridersville Village Council members and local residents took advantage of a chance to speak their minds on a pressing issue in the village.
Cridersville Village Council Safety Committee members Thursday addressed the ownership and housing of animals within the village.
Before the second reading of an ordinance addressing pit bulls at the last regular council meeting, Cridersville Police Chief John Drake requested councilors table the issue after listening to concerns of the residents.
The proposed legislation names pit bull terriers a vicious dog, but Drake noted that he has heard much feedback on the topic, so he requested a Safety Committee meeting to permit residents an opportunity to address the issue and to review the issue at least one more time before the ordinance is passed.
This spring Ohio adopted a new rule, which eliminated identifying pit bulls as vicious and established a series of rules and incidents to determine how dangerous any dog is.
Elected officials of villages and cities could adopt a more stringent law identifying pit bulls and other breeds as vicious.
After Cridersville councilors added pit bulls as a vicious animals back in to the language, Drake heard feedback from the village, especially from owners of pit bulls.
Resident Chris Williams, who owns two pit bulls, came to council on Thursday evening and said that he agrees with Drake.
“Pit bulls are being singled out, and it is ridiculous,” Williams said.
Williams said that it is the way that a dog is brought up, to whether its is trained to be a fighting dog or its trained in a loving family, depends on how the dog will turn out.
“It’s all on how you raise an animal,” Williams said, “and to single out any breed should not be allowed.”
Drake noted it was not only pit bulls who have bitten residents in the community, but it has been different breeds of dogs.
Resident Walter Moyler agreed with Williams.
“Anyone who owns a dog should be accountable for that dog,” the pit bull owner said. “All animals can hurt people and to put it on one specific breed is misplacing the blame.”
On Thursday, Drake made a new recommendation.
Adding a leash law is now a topic of interest for the community to look into.
“I think the leash law it the way we need to go,” Drake said, “and take out the breed specific.”
The leash law, which would need to be passed by councilors, would mean that dog owners would need to purchase the appropriate leash and collar for their dog, while walking it around town or having it anywhere off of their property.
“We need to state it’s the responsibility of the owner that they have a leash and collar that is adequate for the size of the dog,” Cridersville Mayor Lorali Myers said.
Myers said that this is a subject that many people in the village are passionate about, so it is not something the Safety Committee members and councilors are taking lightly.
“The most important piece to this is that we make sure all of the residents are safe,” Myers said.
Drake will be looking into the Ohio Revised Code on this topic, to see if they put a leash law into the language of the state document.
Safety Committee members noted that dog owners are responsibly for their pets, and if they attack or bite another, then they will face the consequences.
After more research is done by Drake on the leash law in the Ohio Revised Code, a recommendation will be brought from the Safety Committee members to councilors for approval on this issue.