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FL: Pit bull ban nabs therapy dog

Discussion in 'Laws & Legislation' started by Vicki, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Staff Member

    Pit bull ban nabs therapy dog
    Posted: Aug 14, 2015 7:43 AM EST
    Updated: Aug 14, 2015 7:43 AM EST
    By Jason Pederso

    JACKSONVILLE (KATV) -In 2007 the city of Jacksonville voted to ban pit bulls.

    Aldermen at the time had no idea that one day their unanimous decision would one day impact a three year-old girl living in Minneapolis.

    Here is a look at how the past is affecting the present.

    Wednesday night 11 year-old Ahmeah Simmons cried herself to sleep...missing her best friend Edith.

    "She loves me," says Ahmeah. "And she didn't do anything wrong."

    "It's her life," says mom Amanda Simmons about Edith's importance to Ahmeah. "It's her best friend. She dresses her up. She puts bows in her ears. She paints her toes. She sleeps with her every day for the past year-and-a-half."

    Simmons says Edith is more than a family pet. She is a therapy dog...which is a level below a service dog.

    When she moved her family from Minneapolis she had no idea about the city's pit bull ban.

    She found out about it in January when Edith was picked up by animal control.

    "I explained to them that it is my daughter's therapy dog for Asperger's Disorder and that we needed her," says Amanda. "And they gave her back to me. I went before the judge and I paid $260.00 in fines."

    Simmons also signed a document, pledging that Edith would be removed from the city limits of Jacksonville.

    But locked into a lease and with a daughter in need of her therapy dog...Edith stayed.

    Until Wednesday...when someone called animal control again.

    It is doubtful that Ahmeah and Edith will be reunited a second time.

    Amanda says breed specific laws...designed to protect...are hurtful.

    "Not all dogs are like that," says Amanda. "Not all people...you know based on a breed or a race or a creed...we're not all the same."

    Because Edith has showed no signs of aggression it is unlikely she will be euthanized.

    Jacksonville plans to give her to an out-of-state animal rescue group.

    Air date: August 13th, 2015

    News video at source: Pit bull ban nabs therapy dog - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

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