Pets or Property – Forum on Pet Ownership
The American Democracy Project & Political Science Club of IU South Bend will have a forum on “Pets or Property: South Bend’s Changing Laws Governing Pet Ownership.” The panel discussion will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, in room 1001, Wiekamp Hall, IU South Bend.
Wiekamp is at the corner of 20th Street and Mishawaka Avenue. Parking is free in the attached parking garage.
Panelists will be Valerie Schey, South Bend Common Council; Pam Comer, president Pet Refuge; Oliver Davis, president of the South Bend City Council; Linda Candler, owner Linda’s Camp K9; Pam Wesolowski, president Michiana Feral Cat Initiative; Dr. Mariah Covey of Kryder Veterinary Clinic; Becky Kaiser, committee chair, Near Northeast Neighborhood Association; Matt Harmon, manager, South Bend Animal Care and Control; and and Brad Block, South Bend Animal Care and Control, senior animal control officer.
The host will be Elizabeth Bennion, associate professor of political science.
Pet ownership in the U.S. has more than tripled since the 1970s. In 2012 it was estimated that 67 percent of Americans own a dog or cat. Based on South Bend’s population of 101,081, that would mean that 67,724 of our residents are pet owners.
The current chapter of municipal code governing animal care and control in South Bend was enacted in 1985. Since that time the fields of animal law and veterinary medicine have made significant strides forward.
For these reasons, the South Bend City Council will soon be considering a significant update to the city’s animal care and control ordinances. The proposed policy changes will include:
· Placing an increased emphasis on spay & neuter as a matter of public health and safety.
· Replacing breed specific legislation with behavior specific legislation.
· Adding universal leash laws.
· Providing for the practice of Trap-Neuter-Return.
· Adopting language to prohibit extending periods of tethering.
· Providing for greater regulation and oversight for minor and major dog breeders.
· Increasing punitive measures for those who abuse and neglect pets.
A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE PROPOSED CHANGES WILL BE FOLLOWED BY Q&A WITH THE PANELISTS.
Information on low cost spay /neuter and related pet services will also be available.
For more information please contact Elizabeth Bennion at 574-520-4128 or South Bend City Councilwoman Valerie Schey at 574-210-9623.