Hopkinton City Council tables animal control discussion - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hopkinton City Council tables animal control discussion

DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- City officials in Hopkinton tabled an issue Monday night to consider changes in rules when it comes to "vicious animals'' in the city. That's after three-year-old Vanessa Husmann was attacked by her grandparents two rottweilers Saturday. She died from her injuries. The dogs were euthanized. The city already has an ordinance keeping pit bulls out of the city and Monday night, a discussion was planned on whether to expand that to other breeds.

After a tragic accident in Hopkinton, The community is coming together

"Vanessa was just a likable little girl. Little girl not even in the prime of her life, hadn't even started school yet," said Mayor Cathy Harris. "I think people have really rallied around the family giving them their prayers and support."

After this incident, Harris asked the City Council to review its current animal control laws.

"Do we need to revise this or not? And that's what I'm asking the council Monday. Is there a possibility to change it. And they may say no," Harris said.

But instead, the council motioned to table the issue, giving the Husmann family time to mourn the loss of their daughter. It'S also giving council members time to talk with residents, like Lisa Davis.

"I don't believe that people can just justify and incident, which is very tragic. But to say that everybody else can't have something that they've owned, they've loved and is a part of the family," Davis said.

The current law bans vicious animals, including pit bulls. Harris wants to discuss whether to add rottweilers to the list.

"Any dog can turn on you. The littlest dog can turn on so it's not just the rottweiler," Harris said.

"It was just a tragic incident and even if they do revise the ordinance, it's not gonna bring the little girl back."

Since the discussion was tabled, the council will discuss a possible change in the current ordinance at its April meeting.

Of course any breed of dog can attack a person. And any breed, if treated well can be a safe-loving pet. But statistics do show that rottweilers, pit bulls, presna canarios and their mixes are responsible for 74 percent of attacks in a recent study by the editor of animal people. In the study, 68 percent of the attacks were on children, and 65 percent of those did result in deaths.

In the most recent date, not including the Hopkinton case, dogs have killed six Americans this year, four were pit bulls, one by a rottweiler, and another by an akita.

Last year 34 people died in fatal dog attacks. In 2009, 30 people were killed. A survey by the centers for disease control and prevention reports that 4.7 million Americans are attacked by dogs each year. One out of six attacks does require medical attention.

Dog bites are the 5th most frequent cause of visits to emergency rooms caused by activities common among children.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires

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