[Adopted 1-26-1998 by L.L. No. 2-1998]
It is hereby found and determined that the regulation and control of pit bull terriers is a matter of grave concern and that these dogs pose a serious danger to the public health, safety and welfare.
In recent years vicious and unpredictable pit bull terriers have, without provocation, attacked and seriously injured and killed individuals across the country, with children or the elderly being the most frequent victims.
In one four-year period, pit bull terriers were responsible for 20 of the nation's 28 deaths from attacks by dogs, although accounting for only an estimated 1% of the nation's dog population.
The number and severity of such attacks have been generally attributable to the selective breeding of such animals as fighting dogs, which has tended to promote and exacerbate certain inherent aggressive and vicious propensities combined with their owners' failure to properly confine and control them.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any person other than the owner of a pit bull terrier who harbors or has in his/her possession a pit bull terrier or manages, controls or cares for a pit bull terrier.
- PIT BULL TERRIER
- A dog which is of any of the following breeds or which has an element of its breeding in any of the following breeds: bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, American pit bull terrier or American Staffordshire terrier.
No person shall sell, purchase, possess, rent, lease or harbor a pit bull terrier within the jurisdiction of the Village of Larchmont other than a pit bull terrier which has been acquired prior to the effective date of this article and registered pursuant to this article.
The owner of any pit bull terrier who acquired such dog prior to the effective date of this article shall register such dog with the office of the Village Clerk once every 12 months. The initial registration shall take place no later than 10 business days after the effective date of this article. The specific registration required by this article for pit bull terriers is in addition to any other dog registration and licensing required in the village.
No owner of a pit bull terrier shall be allowed to register such dog unless such owner produces proof that he/she has obtained liability insurance in the amount of at least $500,000 covering any damage or injury which may be caused by the pit bull terrier during the twelve-month period for which registration is sought.
The owner of a pit bull terrier shall maintain liability insurance in full force and effect at all times as required by § 97-22B of this article unless he/she shall cease to own, keep or harbor the pit bull terrier prior to the expiration of such registration.
The owner or keeper shall securely confine any pit bull terrier within his/her personal residence or in a securely enclosed and locked structure, kennel, pen or enclosed area designed to house such a dog, except when such dog is leashed and muzzled as provided in Subsection C of this section. Any structure, kennel, pen or enclosed area used to confine a pit bull terrier shall be locked with a key or combination lock when containing such dog.
The owner or keeper shall not permit a pit bull terrier to be outside his/her personal residence or outside a structure, kennel, pen or enclosed area designed to confine such dog unless such dog is securely leashed and muzzled with a leash no longer than four feet and a muzzle sufficient to prevent such dog from biting persons or other animals.
No person under the age of 18 years may be put in control of or allowed to walk a pit bull terrier. A person controlling or walking a pit bull terrier shall not relinquish physical control of the leash and shall have in his possession at all times an implement designed for and capable of prying open the animal's jaws.
Each premises in which a pit bull terrier is kept shall be posted with a sign or notice, printed in clear and legible type, warning the public of the presence of such dog, and said sign shall be conspicuously displayed, to be visible to any visitor upon entering the property. This sign shall be 12 inches by 12 inches in size with reflective lettering.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this article, as the same may be from time to time amended, shall be subject to imprisonment for not more than six month or to a fine of not more than $1,000, or to both such fine and imprisonment.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph or part of this article shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part thereof directly involved in the controversy and to which such judgment shall have been rendered.