South Dakota lawmakers will soon decide if cities can ban specific dog breeds after legislation was brought forth in the Senate.
Seven cities prohibit or restrict dog breeds within city limits and Senate Bill 75 isn't sitting well with one small-town mayor.
Within the town of Marion, you won't find a Pit Bull, Doberman Pinscher or Rottwieler. Marion Mayor Ron Globke wants to keep it that way.
"I know there are probably some that are fine, but what we've found is that we've had some problems with them," Globke said.
Marion city ordinance classifies the three breeds as vicious, prohibiting any of the 750 residents to own one.
But legislation introduced this week in Pierre aims to change that by prohibiting local government from imposing bans on certain dog breeds.
Senator Dan Lederman is the prime sponsor and says it isn't the breed that causes bites and attacks, but unfavorable situations.
"It's the wrong approach to solve the problem. I think that breed-specific legislation doesn't really help. All it does is cause a lot more problems," Lederman said.
Lederman says the measure will take dog breed out of the equation and force city leaders to look at real solutions for animal safety. And 19 other lawmakers from the Senate and House of Representatives have signed off on the bill.
"(I’ve had) a lot of support. I haven't had any opposition to the bill," Lederman said.
In Marion, the breed ban went into effect about 15 years ago and Globke said he doesn't want lawmakers in Pierre deciding what happens in his town.
"If there is something we could do to make it better, we will definitely do that. But again, I'd like to look at it on a local level and not have someone saying you have to do this and it being a law," Globke said.
Lederman says he wants to put the focus on responsible pet owners, while Globke wants to put a leash on what he calls over-reaching state laws.
Globke says he hasn't had any dog attacks since the breed restriction ordinance went into effect.
Senate Bill 75 was read on the floor Thursday and was referred to Senate Local Government.