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City seeks restrictions on pit bulls

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

PORTERDALE -- Describing pit bulldogs as a "stick of dynamite with a short fuse that could blow up at any time," Councilman Mike Harper asked his fellow council members Monday night to consider banning pit bulls in Porterdale.

Referencing a recent pit bull attack in which a 9-year-old boy was attacked by the family pet, Harper asked City Manager Bob Thomson and Police Chief Geoff Jacobs to gather information on the possibility of banning pit bulls in the town.

Harper acknowledged that such a ban would be a groundbreaking step.

"Somebody's got to start somewhere, and somebody's got to be first," Harper said, adding that he felt a ban would help protect the residents of Porterdale.

Councilwoman Arline Chapman agreed with Harper that some protections should be put in place, adding that the state and city already have ordinances placing restrictions on dogs that have been declared vicious.

Chapman also noted that residents react emotionally when it comes to their pets.

"I think it's a difficult problem to solve because people feel very strongly that you can't just outlaw a certain breed of dog," she said.

Rather than outlaw pit bulls outright, Mayor Bobby Hamby suggested that the town have its attorney research the possibility of placing restrictions on certain breeds.

City Attorney Tim Chambers said the town may be able to regulate certain breeds, ban certain people from owning certain breeds or ban breeds from certain locations.

The council agreed unanimously to research whether certain breeds can be banned in the town and moved the discussion to a future work session.