UPDATE: Madison committee approves pit bull ordinance - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Madison committee approves pit bull ordinance

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A city committee approved a proposal that would require all pit bulls over five months old to be spayed or neutered.

The Public Safety Review Commission sent the ordinance to the Board of Health for Madison and Dane County.

Alder John Strasser wrote the measure. He says pit bulls are overpopulating the local animal shelters, so the ordinance is designed to cut back on the dog's population in the area.

Critics of the plan say breed-specific legislation is not effective.

People who don't comply with the ordinance would face a fine of up to $500.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A city committee met Tuesday night to discuss and hear public comment on a controversial proposal in Madison.

Madison's Public Safety Review Commission discussed an ordinance proposal that would require most dogs deemed pit bulls to be spayed or neutered.

Alder John Strasser says many neighbors in his area have complained about what he calls "backyard breeders" – dogs constantly reproducing and overpopulating shelters but pit bull advocates say breed-specific legislation is never effective and the focus should be on owners.

Since the proposal was introduced last week, Strasser has gotten a lot of feedback from both sides of the heated debate.

"Even the people who are against this ordinance as its written-- on the basis that they perceive it to be an attack on pit bulls-- see a need for an expanded policy on how Madison and Dane County deals with animals and their breeding in general," Strasser tells 27 News.

This is just the first of several meetings on this proposal. If approved by the public safety committee, it will go to the public health committee.

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