The Jamestown Board of Aldermen approved a new dog ordinance at its May 6 meeting.
Sitting city attorney John Kay said a current ordinance banning pit bulls, Rottweilers and Doberman pinscher dogs was proving difficult.
“We have run into an enforcement problem in two respects,” Kay said. “Under federal law, if somebody has a service dog, municipalities such as Jamestown cannot put a blanket ban against all breeds of animals if somebody chooses to have one of those as a service dog.”
Before, there were also problems in court trying to prove that an animal is a prohibited breed, he added. The new ordinance defines which dogs fall into the breed categories or have similar characteristics of those breeds.
Specified breeds or dangerous dogs are prohibited from being kept within city limits without a $25 permit and annual registration. Some registration requirements include proof of spay or neuter records and maintaining the dog inside or behind an approved fence.
“We just passed the ordinance so that it leaves it up to us (the board) to decide if we feel that the dog has the possibility of being dangerous,” Alderman Joey Wyckoff said.
The city uses an identification checklist to verify the breeds. Violations of the ordinance may result in citations, impoundment of the animal or inability to register another potentially dangerous dog for two years.