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IA: Sioux City Considering Ending Pitbull Ban

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

  1. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Staff Member

    Ending Pitbull Ban

    Posted: Aug 13, 2015 11:51 PM EST
    By Jaclyn Driscoll

    SIOUX CITY, IA -In the past two years, many states have overturned or banned breed specific legislation. Currently 17 states prohibit breed specific laws.

    In an effort to make the city safer, Sioux City banned pit bulls in 2008.

    In 2007, the year before the ban 24 of the 110 bites reported in the city were by pit bulls. Six years after the ban, pit bulls bites have decreased. Only five of the 119 reported bites in 2014 were from pit bulls.

    Even before the ban, Sioux City took steps to keep any dangerous animals out of the city.

    "If they are a high risk or vicious animal, vicious animals are not rehabbed,” said Cindy Rarrat, Owner and Operator of Sioux City Adoption and Rescue. “If they have been involved in a bite which is unprovoked and has broken the skin, those animals, the owners have to make the determination whether they're going to take them out of the city or they're going to have them euthanized."

    Many say pit bulls are not a dangerous breed.

    "They are not dangerous dogs,” said Brenda Iwen, Noah's Hope Volunteer, Sioux City. “They are just like any other breed. Every once in a while you get a bad one, as you do with labs weimaraners, even golden retrievers. I feel like the dog, if it gets into the wrong hands it could be a danger."

    However, in 2014, 64 percent of fatal dog attacks nationwide were by pit bulls. But many say different breeds will be at the top of that list in different years.

    "Every year there has been a different breed that has been on the hit list, or that will be at the top of the list,” said Rarrat. “Basically it all falls down to, bottom line, is responsible pet ownership."

    Last year, South Dakota passed its ban against breed specific legislation

    "The state of South Dakota passed legislation that no city or municipality may have breed specific legislation, so there may be general ownership, responsible dog legislation, but nothing can be specific towards any particular breed," said Brittany Snyders, Board Member of Sioux Empire Pit Rescue.

    Many legislators in Sioux City are firm on the pit bull ban and will not revisit the legislation anytime in the near future. However, some locals say there could be a possible solution.

    "One solution would be is if the city were to allow pit bulls to come in through licensed rescues or shelters, the pit bull would have been temperament tested, spay or neutered, micro chipped, vaccinated,” said Iwen. “Also the potential family would have had reference checks done on them."

    While many feel the breed should be allowed back into the city, they also know it should be done in a responsible manner.

    "Before there was a pit bull ban, the shelter was overwhelmed with pit bulls,” said Iwen. “A lot of them were abused neglected, because statistics show it's the highest abused and neglected breed that there is out there."

    "They're not dangerous dogs,” said Snyders. “Yes, they can be mishandled just like any dog can be, which is why it's really important to have good policies for responsible ownership that apply to everybody, not just people with certain types of dogs."

    Many residents have expressed their disagreement with the pit bull ban in Sioux City but overturning this legislation may need to begin at the state level.

    Ending Pitbull Ban - Sioux City - KMEG 14, FOX 44, News, Weather, Sports

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