MIDDLETOWN - Tracey Miller does
not feel safe walking her 5-pound
Maltese dog, Casper, in her neighborhood.
Her husband, Steven, and Casper
were attacked last summer by
a neighbor's two large dogs,
one a pit bull mix. Casper received
20 puncture wounds that required
surgery. Steven Miller was bitten
on the buttocks, hands and chest.
"We live in constant fear
that they will get out and attack
us or Casper (again),"
Miller wrote in an October statement
to a Middletown judge.
She hopes a new ordinance that
pertains to vicious and dangerous
dogs, approved by City Council
on May 3, prevents other residents
from going through an ordeal
The ordinance bans new pit
bulls. Current owners have until
Friday to have their dogs registered
under local and state law to
be able to keep them. Pit bull
owners also are required to
provide the Middletown Police
Department with documentation
- by June 4 - that the dog has
been micro-chipped for identification,
along with photographs of the
animal, and a name, home address
and phone number.
The updated ordinance also
sets up a process to designate
a dog as vicious or dangerous;
requires vicious dogs to be
identified with a micro-chip
within 30 days of the designation;
limits a person to three "dangerous"
dogs and no more than one "vicious"
dog at a time; and requires
owners to carry at least $100,000
in liability insurance.
The warmer weather added a
sense of urgency to the City
"It's getting to summer,
when people are outside and
there are a lot of dogs out,"
said Craig Heimbuch, chief administrative
assistant for the city.
Maj. Mark Hoffman of the Middletown
Police Department said officials
know of hundreds of pit bulls
within city limits.
Brenda Matthews, Miller's mom,
wants the city to be strict.
"Why should we have to
be victims and not be able to
walk in our own neighborhoods
and be safe?" Matthews