August 13, 2009

Wilton’s dog breed ordinance to be revisited

By Brenda L. Shelkey

Wilton commissioners weren‘t surprised during the Aug. 5 commission meeting when Kevin Huddleston, owner of a part Rottweiler dog, came before the commission to request a change in the pet ordinance. At the July commission meeting, Huddleston was told that his dog would not be allowed to live in Wilton past the end of August, in keeping with the vicious breeds ordinance. The discussion bred a hotbed of debate more than once since then. Huddleston has moved both himself and his dog out of city limits. He reiterated several times during the recent discussions that he enjoyed living in Wilton and did not want to leave. His loyalty to his pet would not allow him to do otherwise. In support of Huddleston’s belief that a vicious dog isn’t determined by its breed, but by its training, he brought in Missy Hilsendeger, the animal control warden for the city of Bismarck, who agrees with Huddleston’s point of view. Huddleston reminded Mayor Kyle Tschosik that he had stated that commissioners had to work within the confines of the ordinance. He admitted that he did understand the commission’s need to protect the citizens of Wilton. Looking at Tschosik, Huddleston said, "You made a statement at the first meeting to that effect, that you would have to have somebody request that the ordinance be changed. Could we consider trying to amend the ordinance?" Tschosik said, "Yes, there is room to change it." He explained that there is a procedure that commissioners will have to follow and that it would take time.

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