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Renewed enforcement of Pit Bull ban has some Columbus Junction residents asking for change

The rule has been in place for more than two decades but some residents think it would be fair to reconsider this ban.

COLUMBUS JUNCTION, Iowa - There's a rule that has been around for a quarter of a century banning people in Columbus Junction from having pit bulls as a pet.

The dog breed is banned in dozens of cities throughout the State of Iowa.

The mayor of Columbus Junction is now asking authorities to increase their enforcement of the rule, following a recent dog attack.

Mayor Mark Huston said the dog that attacked a resident was not a pit bull, but he believes the incident should serve as a reminder to people who live in town that the breed can be dangerous.

"We have not had any Pit bull bites right now, but I’m not interested in all of a sudden having you come down and talk to us about the person that was severely injured or the little kid that got extremely hurt or killed because of a Pit bull," Huston told WQAD News 8.

In addition to the risk of dangerous bites, Huston said that stray dogs are tying up the cities Police Department.

Neither Columbus Junction nor Louisa County have a humane society or a dedicate office for animal control.

The mayor said stray and lost animals become the responsibility of the city police department.

"Police departments, whether its here or wherever, have got better things to do than referee dogs throughout our town or any town," said Huston.

Huston said the ordinance, which was adopted in 1994, is the same as it has always been and that there isn't anything new about the rules. He just wanted to remind the public, and the police, about the ban.

"I thought it should be brought to peoples attention that we’ve had an ordinance for some time that those particular dogs aren’t to be inside city limits," said Huston.

Resident Jayme Storm knows a thing or two about raising a big pup. She has a black lab/mastiff mix that she describe as "lovable."

"You can train any dog to be loving and caring," she said.

That's why she is willing to stick up for some other dog owners.

"As far as that as an ordinance, I don`t think its fair," said Storm. "When people see the dog fights and those kinds of things, those dogs are not raised in caring environments. They`re raised to be mean."

Storm says she thinks its time for city leaders to look at this ordinance differently. She'd like to see dog bite instances treated case-by-case and says the entire pit bull breed shouldn't be banned.

Still, the mayor and other city leaders believe the rule must be upheld.

"I’ve never heard of anybody being killed by a little dog by just a normal bite," said Huston. "But, some of the Pit bull breeds just have a stronger jaw." said Huston.

In a statement posted on their website, the ASPCA says, "All dogs, including pit bulls, are individuals. Treating them as such, providing them with the care, training and supervision they require, and judging them by their actions and not by their DNA or their physical appearance is the best way to ensure that dogs and people can continue to share safe and happy lives together."

Anyone found with a pit bull in Columbus Junction is ticketed and must remove the animal from city limits.

The mayor said at least one person who has been issued a citation plans on taking the city to court.