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Aberdeen Discusses Pit Bull Ban

November 26, 2012, 10:41 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Aberdeen Discusses Pit Bull Ban
ABERDEEN, SD -

It's a topic that's sure to attract a heated discussion from both sides- banning a breed of dog within city limits. But that's what Aberdeen's city council discussed Monday.

The meeting was a work session so they discussed animal laws and didn't make any decisions. But some council members have asked for a pit bull ban.

There's no saying whether a breed-specific dog ban would pass if it came before the council. But some council members who support the idea do so adamantly.

"I just don't see a need for this breed in this community," Council Member Dave Bunsness said.

"Is this community going to be a safer community ten years from now if we have almost no pit bulls or if we have hundreds of pit bulls," Mayor Mike Levsen said.

Both Bunsness and Levsen support a pit bull ban that would grandfather in current dogs living in city limits. But others, including Council Member Clint Rux, have reservations.

"It hasn't worked in Denver. They're still destroying 1,000 pit bulls a year because people are still bringing them in. And they still have dog bites, just other breeds," Rux said.

Others joined Rux questioning the enforceability of a breed-specific ban. Some also asked where to draw the line when deciding when to ban a breed from the city.

"They're going to get a different dog," Rux said.

But those questions didn’t deter the strong supporters of a ban.

"I don't buy that 'if we can't do it all we shouldn't try to do anything,'" Levsen said.

"In my opinion it's a ticking time bomb," Bunsness said.

But some council members say it's a broader issue than one breed and they want to spend time tackling issues related to irresponsible owners.

The city attorney will use feedback he received from Monday's meeting to draft an ordinance. He plans to have that in front of city council members by the middle of next month.

The city tried to ban pit bulls within the past couple years but the measure failed with only a few council members voting in support of it.

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