CAMDENTON, Mo. — The Camdenton Board of Aldermen is facing controversy about a city ban on certain dog breeds that resulted in one pet owner recently receiving a citation.
Misty Brown and family own two AKC registered American Bulldogs, and they were recently visited by a city police officer who issued a citation according to Section 210.160 of the City’s code.
The dogs in question, according to the police department, have five of the eight AKC and/or UKC Pitbull characteristics specified in the ordinance.
On Tuesday, Nov. 18, Brown asked the City Board at its regular meeting to exempt her dogs, offering copies of their AKC registration as evidence for that exemption. She furthermore asked that the ordinance be reviewed. Her attorney agreed. He believes the ordinance is arbitrary in singling out the Pitbull and that nothing should be presumed dangerous until it proves to be dangerous.
Alderman Osborn contended that Pitbulls pose a danger and can become aggressive; she says she is unwilling to risk even one dog bite that could maim or kill a pet or person.
City Administrator Hancock, who has served in communities that have debated Pitbull ordinances, noted that approximately 40 Missouri communities have breed-specific dog ordinances and/or dangerous dog ordinances. Camdenton has both (Section 210.130 and 210.150 in addition to 210. 160). He furthermore stated that there were “32 dog-attack fatalities in 2013 with 78% of those attributed to Pitbulls” and advised that some breed-specific ordinances have been upheld by higher review courts.
City Attorney Phil Morgan advised that the Board of Alderman is not required to respond because the citation issued dictates that the Court is the proper forum in which to resolve the immediate problem brought before them by Brown, who is no longer living with the dogs inside the city limits. Both Aldermen Eden and Hagedorn asked what changes Brown and her attorney would recommend for the ordinance. Neither was prepared to respond at that time.
The concluding business for the evening was unanimous acceptance of the Independent Audit Report for 2013-2014. In other business, City Clerk Renée Kingston noted that sales tax receipts are up 8.59% for the year, and all departments are operating within their budgets. Parks and Recreation Director Larry Bennett provided updated figures for the sidewalk expansion. MODot will spend approximately $655,000 while Camdenton will invest $100,000 in adding sidewalks to a portion of Highway 54.