The language of the proposed ordinance in Jasper, TN regarding pit bulls clarifies some questions.
Ordinance 376, scheduled for a public meeting and a second and final reading at the June 12 town meeting asserts that pits bulls possess a “strong fighting instinct,” “a diminished tendency to bark, growl, or otherwise warn their prey of intent to attack,” “a genetic predisposition to aggressiveness,” as well as “current methods of control by pit bull owners in the Town of Jasper…have proved to be insufficient in protecting the public.”
The criteria from which these samples are pulled have instigated the Town of Jasper to propose restrictions on owners of pit bull breeds, which includes “bull terrier breed of dog,” “Staffordshire bull terrier,” “American pit bull terrier,” “American Staffordshire terrier,” and “dogs of mixed breed or of other breeds than listed above listed which breed mixed breed is known as pit bull, pit bull dogs, or pit bull terriers.”
The proposed restrictions include registering the animal with the town (including at least two color photographs of each dog registered), enhanced confinement including “confined in a locked pen, kennel, or other secure enclosure that is suitable to prevent the entry of children and is designed to prevent the dog from escaping.” This includes a lock operated by a key or a combination lock. The pen “must have secure sides and a secure top attached to the sides. The pen may either have an attached floor to the sides or the sides will be embedded into the ground not less than two feet. The same clause under “Confinement” states, “The enclosure shall include shelter and protection from the elements and shall provide adequate exercise room, be adequately lighted and ventilated and kept in a clean and sanitary condition.”
When transported for veterinary care, the dog must be affixed with a muzzle to prevent biting, but not interfere with the breathe or the sight of the dog.
Owners of the dogs will be required to “prominently display” a sign that reads “Beware of Dog.” Owners will also carry a public liability insurance with a single incident minimum of $100,000.
The proposed ordinance also expressly forbids the entry of new dogs of the description above from entering the town limits. “It shall be unlawful to keep, harbor, own or in any way possess a pit bull dog within the corporate limits of the Town of Jasper, TN.” The restrictions are laid out expressly for existing dogs and dog owners.