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Pit Bull ban discussed in Fort Thomas

FORT THOMAS, Ky. (Paula Toti) -- More and more people have chosen to own pit bulls despite the controversy over the breed.

Some said it was time to allow them in Fort Thomas.  Others said that would put families in danger.  The community has had a ban in place for 26 years but city council was exploring whether or not to lift the ban Monday night. 

At a public meeting Monday people were very passionate on both sides of the issue.  At a dog park in Fort Thomas a sign was recently changed to say, 'No pit bulls.'  Originally the sign just banned aggressive dogs.  Tammy Nolan said when she helped build the park 12 years ago her late pit bull was actually the mascot.

"They grandfathered by dog so I don't understand the problem now," Tammy said.

The city may have grandfathered Tammy's dog but others have been told their pit bulls weren't welcome.  A Facebook movement has started to repeal the city's ban on the breed.  People came to Monday's meeting from other cities.  One person came with a service dog that was a pit bull.

Most from out of town came to urge city council to repeal the ban.  Some were used to the fight, it's spreading across the country.  The folks from Pit Crew said it was bad owners who are the problem not the breed and laws need to punish those who aren't responsible owners.

But since the movement began to repeal the ban the other side has gained steam.  Some are pointing to the little girl in Cincinnati recently attacked by a pit bull.

Preston Manning, a Fort Thomas resident, said, "I don't want my daughter or anyone's daughter to end up like that girl just walking home."

Manning said by walking just 12 blocks he easily got almost 300 residents in Fort Thomas to sign a petition saying the ban should remain in place.

"I love animals very much but Fort Thomas should keep the pit bull ban in place," said another Fort Thomas resident, Cathy Rudert.

The debate Monday night was so divided one person said the ban was costing the city money because people won't move to Fort Thomas because they can't bring their pit bull.  But another man who said he was in real estate said just the opposite; families don't want to live next to pit bulls.

The city council members heard from staff members who have been researching this issue and how other cities have dealt with it.
No decision was made Monday night.

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