Madison alderman wants to curb pit bull population

File photo. (MGN)
File photo. (MGN)

MADISON (AP) – A Madison alderman wants to require all pit bulls over the age of five months to be spayed or neutered.

Alderman John Strasser said the local overpopulation of pit bulls is putting stress on the Dane County Humane Society and the city’s animal services officers.

“We’re not going after the pit bulls and making ownership of a pit bull prohibitive,” said Strasser told the Wisconsin State Journal. “What we’re trying to do is cut down on the population so that we can devote more shelter and rescue efforts to other animals, and not just to the overly bred pit bulls.”

More than half of the dogs euthanized at the humane society from 2010 to 2012 were pit bulls. Pit bulls accounted for 12 percent of incidents involving dogs biting humans and 38 percent of the dog-on-dog attacks in the city in 2013.

The ordinance does allow for specific exceptions for documented show dogs or service dogs. Enforcement would be on a complaint basis and there would be programs to assist owners who can’t afford to pay to have the dog altered.

Violations would lead to fines of $500 for a first offense up to $1,500 for third and subsequent offenses.

The proposal is scheduled to go before the city council Tuesday. It will be studied by a couple of committees and, if supported, it could be in effect by March.

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