"We have been asking the Aberdeen Board of Aldermen to look at amending the city's pit bull ordinance," volunteer Astrid Peterson said. "The way the ordinance is presently structured, there are no penalties for violating the ordinance. The ordinance, as it presently stands, is unenforceable."
According to Peterson, when the city's animal control officer picks up a pit bull, the animal is transferred to the Aberdeen Animal Shelter, which is not designed for vicious animals.
"When a pit bull is picked up, we are supposed to keep it for five days," he said. "We are not equipped for this type of dog. We had some in the shelter that were confiscated and they chewed through the fences and almost killed some of our other dogs."
Peterson said the main focus of the new ordinance is enforceability.
"There are some good points in the existing ordinance and we would like to add to it," she said. "One part of the ordinance states that pit bulls must be on a leash if they are out of the pen. We would like for it to say that the leash cannot be logging chains, as we have seen people walking pits up and down the streets of Aberdeen on logging chains. This is very cruel to the animal."
Accountability and registration are two key areas Peterson said she hopes to see enforced with a new ordinance.
"We want to be able to confiscate the animals if they are not registered and depending on how they have or have not been trained, we want to be able to destroy the animals if they are deemed too violent. Basically, we want something that's going to better protect both the citizens of Aberdeen and the animals. Dog fighting is a very cruel act and we hope this will help bring a stop to it in Aberdeen and Monroe County."