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Jacksonville Says New Animal Control Rules Won't Be Breed Specific

Updated: Thursday, May 22 2014, 01:24 PM CDT

JACKSONVILLE, ILL. -- The debate in Jacksonville is how to handle dangerous and vicious dogs. The director of Morgan County Animal Control proposed strict rules for pit bulls after an incident that occurred on his property.

The new rules concerned dog owners, who believe some of their rights were being taken away.

Dog owners and animal lovers alike closely listened as Jacksonville City Council debated possible changes to their animal control ordinance.

Right off the top, one thing was made clear.

"There might have been a rumor out there that we were going to be specifically looking at one breed of dog and that's not really where we are coming from," said Alderman Tony Williams.

Instead, council hopes to make changes to their current ordinance to align more closely with Morgan County. The county ordinance was re-written just a few years ago.

"The city of Jacksonville contracts with Morgan County to handle animal control for the city. While our officers may respond to a call, it's Morgan County Animal Control who makes the pickup of the animal in question," said Dan Beard.

Making changes to the animal control ordinance came to light after suggestions by the Director of Morgan County Animal Control.

In March, Dr. Jay Hudson recounted a story about two pit bulls attacking his pony.

He wanted pit bulls and any dog that has a history of biting humans to be microchipped, but Jacksonville City Council says their ordinance already does that because of their close relationship with Morgan County.

"They have very clear guidelines without naming any breed of dog specifically, just dogs in general. I believe based on what they have and what we are already doing, we don't need to do anything further," said Alderman Marcy Patterson.

Alderman Tony Williams admit it's still unclear if and when any changes will be made. Over the next few weeks, they hope to gain more information from the director of animal control.

"Our whole intention is making sure people in Jacksonville are safe from a dangerous or vicious dog, and all dogs have teeth," said Williams.

Hudson was not at Wednesday's meeting because he said he was unaware of it.

Some city aldermen were questioning the motives behind his pit bull story. They wanted to know if he was suggesting changes as a citizen or as the director of animal control.

Council hopes to meet with Hudson again to hear any proposals he has.

Jacksonville Says New Animal Control Rules Won't Be Breed Specific

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