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March 31, 2011

Pit Bull Impounded Following Dog Bite Incident

Pit bulls are back in the news in Memphis after a canine owner was ticketed for possessing a vicious dog following a dog bite incident on March 24th.

According to the Memphis Police Department, the dog's owner, Anthony Schultz of 217 E. Jackson Street, was ticketed after the animal allegedly bit a juvenile.

Officers took the dog into custody and it remains impounded in the city dog pound.

According to investigators, the animal left the owner's property and the attack occurred on private property. The juvenile sustained a bite wound to his leg. Investigators indicated the dog's owners contend the dog was provoked.

Under Memphis City Code 210.010 pit bulls are automatically classified as vicious dogs.

Section 210.020 denotes that it is illegal to keep or harbor a vicious dog in Memphis except under the following provisions:

The dog cannot be allowed outside its kennel or pen unless the dog is secured on a leash of no more than four feet in length and is wearing a muzzle.

The dog must be confined indoors or in a secure enclosure. It cannot be kept outdoors on a rope or chain. Any pen must have four walls, a roof and either a floor or walls embedded no less than two feet underground. The pen must be locked.

Ownership of a vicious dog also requires that the property owner display a sign in prominent fashion warning others to beware of the dog.

Once a vicious dog is taken into custody by law enforcement within the city limits, the animal may not be released until the associate judge makes a determination on whether the animal needs to be disposed of to promote public safety.

Any dog may be deemed vicious if it bites or attempts to bite any person, not a trespasser, without provocation. It can also be deemed vicious if it kills another dog, cat, or domestic animal. Any unrestrained dog that has placed a person, not a trespasser, in apprehension of serious physical damage, also can be deemed a vicious animal.

City code also requires all dogs be licensed and show proof of rabies vaccination. The annual fee is $3 and renewable on July 1.


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Memphis Democrat
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