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September 3, 2013

Waterloo council to discuss tougher pit bull rule

WATERLOO — Two recent dog attacks have prompted Waterloo officials to develop a new, tougher ordinance to control pit bulls in the city.

Waterloo Mayor Buck Clark said the attacks on a 65-year-old woman and 13-year-old boy are "something we need to react to."

The City Council is scheduled to discuss the proposal during a work session today, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported. Any ordinance change would require consideration during a regular council meeting during which public comment would be allowed.

Councilwoman Carolyn Cole said council members are already receiving emails urging the city not to target pit bulls despite Tuesday's dog attacks on Riehl Street.

Vivien Brookman, 65, is recovering from about 200 dog bites she received last week, while 13-year-old William McNealy suffered bites and scratches after both were attacked by the same two pit bills and a Boston terrier mix while walking along the street.

Police shot and killed a large pit bull involved in the incident while an 8-month-old male Boston terrier mix and a 1-year-old female pit bull were detained by Waterloo Animal Control.

While some communities have adopted outright bans on pit bulls, Clark said the ordinance being developed by animal control officials would still allow people to own pit bulls under more restrictive circumstances.

The ordinance may require pit bulls to be microchipped for identification and could create a separate dog license for them, Clark said. Also under consideration is a limit on the number of pit bulls a person can own.

Current city zoning ordinances limit the number of adult dogs at a household to four. But there is nothing limiting specific breeds.

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