By Craig Marx, Editor
Even though it will only be a mark of formality, the Antigo City Council will be briefly discussing one of the more highly-contested area ordinances on Wednesday night – the controversial ban on pit bulls and similar breeds of dogs within the city limits.
The city council will be bringing up the issue of updating the current ordinance of No. 1279B to delete the “grandfather provision” from the wording and framework of the existing code. An ordinance that was developed in the ’90s, Chief of Police Eric Roller says that “all the pit bulls that were grandfathered in at the beginning are no longer in the City of Antigo.” Erasing the provision, which allowed those keeping, owning, or harboring pit bulls and like canines to retain possession, albeit with fairly stringent restrictions, will provide a more clearly defined ban.
Regulations that went along with the grandfather provision included always having pit bulls (or related dogs) on handheld leashes or equipped with a muzzle if leashed outside in a proper pen or kennel, signage of ownership of such dogs, strict confinement indoors or in an appropriate outdoor pen, and proper registration and provisional insurance in the event of an attack.
These guidelines for grandfathered owners are no longer necessary or applicable, as Chief Roller alluded to the length of time passed since such provisions were allowed. Altering or deleting the wording or not, the ban, which will continue indefinitely, is still an issue among both animal activists and those wishing to maintain safety from pit bull attacks in Antigo.