Thursday, September 23, 2010

Austin City Council considers waiving pit bull awareness event fees

By Jim Bergamo, KVUE

The Austin City Council will consider on Thursday waving fees for an event promoting pit bull awareness.
The measure, sponsored by Council Member Mike Martinez, comes on the heels of two separate pit bull attacks in the past eight days.  Last week, two mastiffs, a cow dog, and a pit bull attacked a woman and her dog in the Shoal Creek subdivision. Then, this past weekend in Southeast Austin, four pit bulls broke through their fence and attacked dogs belonging to a neighbor.
Love-A-Bull, a pit bull education and advocacy group that teaches repsonsible ownership, applied with the city for the fee waiver for their event.
"The city council is waiving fees for a number of organizations, not just ours," said Lydia Zaidman, President and a co-founder of Love-A-Bull.  "This is not a pit bull issue; this is an irresponsible owner issue.  You have an owner out there who already had animal control out there over four times and nothing was done.  So you don't want to punish the people like us (who are) trying to do the right thing."
The November event would include a parade up Congress Ave., along with a festival at Republic Square Park.
Two months ago, a majority of taxpayers, responding to an online survey, said the council should eliminate free sponsorship of events, such as parades and festivals, to close the gap in the city budget.

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