Bellevue proposes pit bull law, similar to Omaha

Published: May. 4, 2021 at 5:42 PM CDT
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BELLEVUE, Neb. (WOWT) - The bad dog spotlight is once again on the pitbull and all of its cousins.

The City of Bellevue will introduce an ordinance tonight at its city council meeting. It calls for the bully breed of dog to wear muzzles in public and for the owners of those dogs to carry tens of thousands of dollars in liability insurance.

The Bellevue proposal looks a lot like the ordinance already in the books in Omaha.

Back in 2018, Wendy Blevins and her daughter were attacked by a pit bull while out for a walk, the dog was eventually captured.

Wendy suffered minor injuries but 14-month-old Charlotte at the time took the brut of the attack and had to undergo several surgeries.

A few months later, Wendy and her little girl sat before the Omaha City Council as they passed a dangerous dog ordinance. The ordinance is a compromise instead of a total ban on the breed that outlines a set of rules for owners to follow.

“Muzzle the dog while in public, the dog has to be walked by someone not less than 19 years old for control. [The] dog has to be harnessed, owner has to have at least $100,00 worth of liability insurance which basically is a homeowner of renters policy,” said Pam Wise, Nebraska Humane Society.

Now, a Bellevue city council member has introduced a proposal for an ordinance that mirrors Omaha’s guidelines.

Roberta Cisar lives in Bellevue and is with an all-breed, all-animal rescue called Muddy Paws Second Chance. She says her dog Luna and other dogs in the bully breed category are being singled out by the proposed Bellevue ordinance.

“Breed-specific legislation is really discriminatory against responsible dog owners and their dogs. Because they look a certain way so they’re restricted or they’re banned and that doesn’t fix the underlying social issue we have, which is irresponsible pet ownership,” said Cisar.

Critics say dogs like American bulldog and other bull breeds seem to get more attention than any other breed of dog that happens to bite someone.

“Even the American Veterinary Medical Association will state the true number of dog bites across the country is not known because it’s not reported.”

Roberta says there are organizations and dog owners who plan to speak out against the proposed ordinance targeting Luna and other dogs.

“It doesn’t matter the breed of the dog or how the dog looks, it’s how they are treated and how they’re trained.”

The proposed Bellevue ordinance is on its first reading tonight, the meeting starts at 6 p.m. The public hearing on the ordinance should take place on May 18.

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