New Bluefield city ordinance legalizes pit bulls but without collarless cat rule

The city received pushback on the proposed amendment requiring cats to wear collars
Published: Oct. 10, 2023 at 6:06 PM EDT
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BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) -An amendment to a city ordinance which could affect the legality of pit bulls and collarless cats moved forward Tuesday. The change in ordinance passed, but only partially.

The biggest change is in the definition of “dangerous animal.” Previously, this definition had included multiple dog breeds like pit bulls, but now the term applies to certain wild animals and any dog or cat based on behavior. Dangerous behavior is defined based on things like bite severity and multiple cases of aggressive behavior. This would legalize pit bulls and similar dogs in Bluefield, West Virginia, if they do not exhibit these characteristics.

A change had also been proposed that would force cats to wear collars or face being taken to the animal shelter. However, the change was met with outcry from many members of the community. Those opposing this section cited the potential dangers a collar could cause outdoor cats, as well as the potential euthanasia of the cats seized as a result of the ordinance. This resulted in this section of the amendment (4-43) being taken out of the amendment, to be reevaluated at a later date.

Other amendments passed in this ordinance include a redefinition of ‘noisy animals’ and a rule calling for the confinement of female dogs and cats in heat.