A motion to ban “pit bulls” from Aberdeen failed by a 6-3 vote last night. The motion would have allowed existing pit bulls to remain in Aberdeen under heavy restrictions, but no new pit bulls would have been prohibited.
Council members Tom Agnitsch, Todd Campbell, Jeff Mitchell, Jennifer Slaight-Hansen, Mark Remily and Clint Rux opposed the ban, while David Bunsness, Mayor Mike Levsen and Laure Swanson voted in favor of it.
Several members of the public attended the meeting and spoke against the proposed ordinance. No member of the public spoke in favor of the motion.
The Aberdeen city council considered banning pit bulls at two meetings in March 2011. An amendment offered by Bunsness at one of those meetings generated a 4-4 vote, failing to pass because it didn’t obtain a majority.
Councilman Bunsness vowed to bring the issue back to the table “the next time a pit bull attacks in Aberdeen.” He went on to advise the ban opponents in the audience to tell their friends to be responsible pet owners because if there’s another attack on a human, it will come before the council again, “and it’ll get closer every time.” (As noted above, last night’s vote against the ordinance was actually by a wider margin than the first vote in 2011.)
At the end of the meeting, Councilman Campbell indicated he’d like to look at other ways to reduce the problem short of banning the breed. He’d like to “study the effect that spaying and neutering has on animals, why more people aren’t licensing their animals and take a broader look at dangerous animals.”
The article covering the council meeting is pretty detailed, and worth reading. Once again, Aberdeen officials are to be commended for understanding that problem dogs are the result of problem dog owners, and are not limited to specific breeds of dogs.
December 10, 2012 Aberdeennews.com article: