10 Eastern Iowa Families Forced To Give Up Their Dogs
Ten families in the Eastern Iowa town of Keystone have been told by sheriff's officials that they must get rid of their dogs. The reason? Because their dogs are either pit bulls or look like they are pit bulls.
KCRG reports that the owners of the dogs were told by officials on July 22nd that they have ten days to find new homes for their pets. One dog owner told KCRG that she was at work when the sheriff came and told her of the decision. He stated that 10 addresses had been turned in because they had pit bulls or dogs that looked like a pit bull. Benton County has an ordinance that prohibits dangerous animals and included on that list is,
Any dog which has the appearances and characteristics of being the breed of Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, any other breed commonly known as pit bulls, pit bull dogs or pit bull terriers, or a combination of any of these breeds.
The ordinance dates back to March 21st, 2000. KCRG reports that officials say the ordinance is too vague. Preston Moore, Iowa State Director for the Human Society, said that a dog doesn't even have to be proven to be a pit bull. It simply has to look like one. He called the process "very arbitrary."
One of the dog owners in Keystone told KCRG that she even has papers from her vet stating that her dog is not a pit bull, and is a Boxer/Lab mix. But she was told it doesn't matter because her dog still looks like a pit bull.
Listen, if a dog has been proven to be a danger to the community I understand action being taken. But pit bulls have for too long had the unfair reputation of being aggressive and dangerous. When raised correctly, they are loving and caring dogs. We have friends that have several pit bulls and they are giant sweethearts. We have many pit mixes that we've met during Furry Friday segments that I would allow in my own home immediately. It's time for outdated ordinances like this to be struck down and leave the decisions to pet owners.