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Published: Friday, 9/13/2013

Swanton dog owner appeals ‘pit-bull’ tag

SWANTON — A judge in Fulton County Eastern District Court has granted a continuance in the case of a man charged with failing to register a dog deemed vicious because it is considered a "pit bull" mix. A pretrial conference was set for 9 a.m., Oct. 9.

A dog belonging to Tim Bork of Swanton was identified by acting Fulton County Dog Warden Brian Bannister as being a Brazilian mastiff mix, or fila Brasileiro, which he considers to be a "pit bull"-type dog.

Because fila Brasileiro is not mentioned in the language of Swanton's ordinance, which lists breeds it considers "pit-bull types," Mr. Bork said he decided not to register his dog, Bailey. He was charged with a third-degree misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Despite the state's move away from breed-specific dog laws, the village continues to consider all "pit bull"-type dogs to be inherently vicious and requires owners to adhere to requirements for owning such a dog, including obtain liability insurance and keeping the dog muzzled while in public.

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