Released on November 10, 2009 - 1:17pm
Jul 22

     Mayor Craig A. Moe would like to take
this opportunity to thank the many people who have called him regarding
his statements concerning the Prince George’s County Pit Bull Breed
legislation banning Pit Bull dogs from the County. The responses to
Mayor Moe’s comments have been supportive and agree that the County
legislation should be reconsidered.

     In a July
14, 2009 letter to Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson, Mayor
Craig A. Moe advised the County Executive of the noticeable increase in
pit bull terriers within the City of Laurel. Mayor Moe advised the
County Executive that the animals spotted were leashed, well-behaved,
and completely under the handlers control. Mayor Moe surmised that the
increase may be due to an influx of new residents as a result of County
and City programs that demonstrated that Prince George’s County is a
great place to live, work, and play. Mayor Moe suggested to the County
Executive that this may be a good time to examine the current law to
determine how Pit Bull terriers can be welcomed into their community
setting without causing harm to these same communities.

     Mayor Moe also shared his observation that little enforcement is
being done when Pit Bulls are observed, most likely due to the behavior
of the dog and the control the handler has of the dog. Mayor Moe stated
Animal Control resources could be better applied to other animal
related issues. Mayor Moe stated the City is willing to participate in
any method to review the current County legislation the County
Executive decides upon. 

     For those that have expressed an interest in reading Mayor Moe’s
letter to the County Executive, it has been posted in its entirety on
the City of Laurel Blog, www.laurelstraightup.blogspot.com. The Blog
can also be accessed from the City’s web site, www.laurel.md.us. The
letter has also been attached to this Press Release.

Below is the Letter to County Executive Jack Johnson

The Honorable Jack Johnson
Prince George’s County Executive
County Administration Building
Governor Oden Bowie Drive
Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772

Dear County Executive Johnson:

     I would like to take this opportunity to share with you the City’s
experience with pet Pit Bull terrier dogs. The City has seen an
increase in these animals in and around the City; fortunately, without
incident or serious consequence. All such dogs observed have been calm
in demeanor and completely under their owners’ control.

     It is respectfully suggested that the County’s legislation banning
pit bulls be re-examined for elimination or modification. As we know,
household pets tend to take on the personality and deportment of their
owners. A pet that is loved, nourished, and well-trained typically
enhance the quality of life for their owners and often their neighbors.
I believe that Pit Bull terriers fall into this general description.

     Laurel, like many other areas of Prince George’s County, has
enjoyed an influx of new residents as a result of County and City
programs that demonstrated that Prince George’s County is a great place
to live, work, and play. It is doubtful that Pit Bull terrier owners
checked local laws before moving into Prince George’s County with their
beloved pets. Rather than cause pain and disruption to Pit Bull terrier
owners by forcing the separation of their pets from the families they
have been raised in, it seems that this is a good time to examine the
current law to determine how Pit Bull terriers can be welcomed into
their community setting without causing harm to these same communities.

     Therefore, it is respectfully recommended that you appoint a Task
Force to examine this matter to determine if the Pit Bull terrier ban
is still necessary; to consider modification that would set particular
requirements upon Pit Bull terrier owners; i.e., required licensing,
required proof of veterinarian health physicals and vaccinations,
required reporting of Pit Bull terrier harmful incidents; to set
consequences for harmful Pit Bull terrier incidents based on frequency
(or at one such incident); provisions for immediate impoundment for Pit
Bull terrier harmful incidents; and to determine if other animals owned
as pets (i.e. Rottweiler dogs, large and/or poisonous snakes) should be
included in any legislation regulating animal ownership.

     The Laurel City Councilmembers join me in this request. Please let
me know how we may be of assistance to you in this issue. If you elect
to appoint a Task Force, I am confident that members of the City
Council, particularly Councilmember Fred Smalls who is very much
interested in this, would welcome the opportunity to serve.

     Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you. And as always, your
interest in matters of importance to the City of Laurel is very much
appreciated.

Sincerely,

Craig A. Moe
Mayor

cc: Members, Prince George’s County Council
The Honorable Phyllis Robinson, President, Prince George’s County Municipal Association
The Honorable Gayle W. Snyder, President, Laurel City Council
Members, Laurel City Council
Ms. Kristie M. Mills, City Administrator
Mr. David Crawford, Chief of Police

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