Feb 19 2008
12:14 pm

I attended the Rockwood City Council Meeting last night. At the beginning of the meeting a council member had asked to defer the vote on the ban. A vote was taken and passed to defer. The Mayor did not want the proposed ordinance to be deferred. After this the floor was opened to public comments. Several (appx. 12) addressed the council. A difference from last month's meeting is that several citizens of Rockwood were present and spoke to the council. One lady addressing the council pleaded with them to make this a vicious dog ordinance instead of breed specific and was so passionate that she was in tears. A gentleman that had moved to Rockwood to flip houses stated to the council if the ban had passed he would have moved from Rockwood.

Several representatives from groups such as Responsible Dog Owners of Tennessee, Second Chance Rescue, and Bless the Bullys addressed the Council. Each encouraged the Council to do away with a breed specific ordinance and instead seek a vicious dog ordinance and shared the view that the irresponsible owners need to be held accountable. Each also agreed to assist the council in drafting such an ordinance.

Maybe someone has some additional thoughts to add about the meeting.
As an observer I was very impressed with the professionalism and respectful manner in which the council and the audience addressed each other. I think it's a great first step...

Pit Bulls

I hope anyone that has children really thinks about this issue! My family used to walk around our neighborhood for excersize,but know I hear that we have a pit bull in on our road.
One neighbor,that has moved since,has already had an issue with it! Well,just to let everyone know,they confronted the owner. Guess what? The pit bull had just got loose from it's chain!!
My daughter use to walk by herself. NO MORE!
I love my family to much and we will get our exercise some other way.
We don't live in downtown Rockwood but,this is not just a Rockwood issue.It's a problem kind of like drugs,not matter where you are in Roane County,you got to deal with it.
The only thing I know that helps is prayer. Lord knows we need it here!!

council meeting

Believe me, we were sincere and it certainly was a not "posturing". Thanks, Ray Collett Councilman

Ron...this is a prime

Ron...this is a prime example of what we are trying to get across to everyone. The owner of the dog running loose should be fined. Furthermore, if the owner fails to adhere to the law then the dog needs to be taken from him. And you said the dog was on a chain..another bad situation. How would banning a breed help your daughter if that dog is something other than a pit bull? Love is responsibility....whether it's human or canine. Bottom line is our local animal control needs to start fining the whiz out of citizens that do not control their pets. When you start to hit someone in the "pocketbook" it usually doesn't take long to get their attention.
Two things in ending. I'm certainly not saying you are wrong but are you sure the dog is a pit bull? A lot of people say "pit bull" based on the dog's appearence. Just for fun, take the "find the pit bull test" on the Internet. Just google the phrase and you can link it. I've been around Pits a lot and could not pick it out. Second, I don't know how old your daughter but if she's young she should never be walking by herself. As a parent I would be concerned of the many predators that roam city streets looking for children such as your daughter....and I'm not referring to pit bulls either.

Ron:I can understand your

I can understand your fear- after-all people are constantly barraged by the media with stories involving irrational and killer behavior of "pit bulls". However, it has been proven in the court of law (alabama and others) by canine experts that the "pit bull" breed is not inherently more dangerous then any other dog. In fact, a huge study tested thousands of purebred dogs for temperament and the result was the bull breeds scored much higher then those breeds commonly thought to be "good" family dogs.
Some of the most important predictors of severe canine aggression are the following: reproductive status (intact males bite the most followed by dams guarding puppies), tethering or chaining (dogs left on chains may not be excercised,do not have an outlet for frustration and will also guard their territory since they only back up as far as their chain allows), lack of socialization with people (companion animals live with people and learn right/wrong behavior. Resident animals live their life in the back yard at the end of a chain. Guard dogs are rewarded for aggression and are expected to be aggressive). Another important predictor is the function of this dog (companion/best friend, protector of property, only kept to be fought or bred?) ALL these factors ddetermine how dog interacts with humans.It is not a breed issue.
What is incredible to me is despite abuse, neglect and negligent behavior of people that more dogs don't bite or kill. There has been 22 deaths of people by dogs in TN in the last 43 years committed by at least 10 different breeds of dogs. There are approximately 73 million dogs in the US- that is a lot of human canine interaction on a daily basis!
I commend you in now supervising your daughter as she takes her walks. Any loose dog is a is a potential risk- pit bull or otherwise.

What is next?

Last night we were much relieved to hear the deferment of the Pit Bull Ban, but we are in no way foolish enough to think this settles the problems. Bottom line is Rockwood and other communities in Roane County have people problems. Some would say, I have a doberman problem. Actually, I have a bad neighbor. Her dobermans run loose almost daily as soon as the school bus leaves. They have attacked several small animals on leashes while being walked by their owners. Neighbors have complained and Animal Control has been out here. They always find the dobermans back in their yard - still at large and unattended, but back on their owners property. We need a way to give Animal Control officers Law Enforcement powers and then we need to enforce the laws we have or improve on them. Any dog not claimed at a scene should become Animal Control property. Any dog at large and unattended, should result in a citation. Regardless of the personality, temperment, or size of your dog, the law says it must be under your control. Leashed, fenced, kenneled, housed - YOU are resposible for that dog. That law must be enforced to ensure safety. Additionally there are viscious dog ordinances that establish a viscious dog as one that attacks, without provocation, any person or animal. My dogs hate cats. I am resposible for ensuring that my dogs do not take that hatred out on my neighbor's cats.

Just my take on a problem felt by many.

I have to say before I end, we have been well treated by the Mayor and City Council of Rockwood. They are very sincere in their desire to do what is right for their community. As a member of Responsible Dog Owners of Tennessee, I am willing to dedicate time and energy towards helping people to understand that WE are resposible, NOT our dogs. Thank you Mayor and Councilmen.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid / TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding.