PRESCOTT – There is no longer an ordinance dealing specifically with pit bulls in Prescott.
The Prescott City Council, at its May meeting Monday night, voted to repeal the pit bull ordinance and amend the existing vicious animal ordinance to exclude service animals, but include cats.
The ordinance was tabled from the April meeting because the council couldn’t agree on how much time a pit bull should be held, wanting there to be no holding time to allow owners to get their animals and find a way to keep them out of town. Prescott Mayor Terry Oliver said the city had been in contact with Nashville’s animal control officer and city attorney on the matter.
Bruce Bean, office manager at City Hall, said the way the proposed ordinance was worded would make Nashville responsible for the animals and this is something they weren’t willing to accept, though the Nashville people did suggest to increase the fine to $800 and court costs.
Councilman Jerry Hightower said he had no problem with dogs being held three days, but added there needed to be a stipulation for service animals for those who have pit bulls as their service animals.
This set things off. Councilman Ivory Curry said if that’s done then there’s no pit bull ordinance. Hightower countered saying the city already has a vicious dog ordinance.
Councilman Howard Austin didn’t agree with increasing the fine from $250 to $800, saying the city pays Nashville for this service and he can’t see where they can tell Prescott how it should do things as it’s the council’s decision.
City Attorney Glenn Vasser said Nashville doesn’t want the responsibility transferred to them because they don’t want to get involved with litigation. He pointed out the city can’t take a person’s service animal.
From there, the discussion became circuitous with the council pretty much saying the same thing, but, apparently, with no one listening to anyone else. At one point, Councilman Susie Meeks said if a dog is running loose, it should be put to sleep.