OGDEN -- Jay Rotunda admits his two pit bulls are dangerous. But the reason people should fear Bo, a 7-year-old pit bull mix, and Chloe, a 1-year-old, might not be the first thought that comes to mind.
"The most dangerous things on my dogs are their tails," Rotunda told the Ogden City Council on Tuesday during its fact-finding work session dealing with a proposed ordinance that would regulate pit bulls in Ogden.
Chief Deputy City Attorney Mara Brown outlined the proposed ordinance, and Bob Geier, Ogden City Animal Services manager, highlighted some of the reasons such an ordinance is needed.
"The draft that we proposed was designed to address the particular situation that Ogden has."
If passed, the ordinance would call for pit bull owners to carry $25,000 in liability insurance coverage, have their dogs licensed and microchipped, and keep the dogs in a secure kennel or fully fenced yard and on an adequate leash when not confined.
Owners also would have to notify animal control any time the animal gets loose or has attacked a person or another animal.
If the dog changes hands, the former owner must provide the city with the new owner's contact information by the end of the next business day.
City workers also would have the right to inspect the dog's home at any time, which did not sit well with Hank Greenwood, president of the American Dog Breeders Association Inc.
"I have a problem with submitting to an inspection to your home if you have a dog that has not proven to be a danger," Greenwood told the council during his time to discuss the potential impacts of the proposed ordinance.
"There's a possible violation of the Fourth Amendment property rights there."
Pit bulls currently licensed would not be subjected to the new ordinance, if passed.
Geier told the council that, from January to July 2010, 40.9 percent of all dogs quarantined were pit bulls.
Dogs are quarantined for 10 days if their bite has broken the skin.
Greenwood also did not like that statistic, saying that because the pit bull is not a breed, but rather a conglomeration of breeds, any statistics on pit bulls are skewed.
The biggest problem Greenwood has with the proposed ordinance is that he feels it's discriminatory toward the wrong feature of a dog.
"It specifies how a dog looks," Greenwood told the Standard-Examiner.
"They want to enforce a law on how a dog looks and not how it behaves. That's what it comes down to."
Melissa Lipani, a campaign coordinator of Pit Bulls: Saving America's Dog, pointed out that ordinances geared toward a specific breed have not resulted in improvements in important statistics.
"In every city where breed-discriminatory legislation has been enacted, dog bites have increased regardless of breed," Lipani said.
"This is true in Miami, Denver and even in South Jordan, where they have had a 112 percent increase in their dog bites since they banned pit bulls in 1999."
Brown suggested that maybe better record-keeping has taken place in South Jordan since the pit bull ban, while Geier said he wondered about population growth, suggesting there might be two or three times as many people there as there once were.