Proposed pit bull ban in Lakewood stirs passionate debate
Paul Thomas 6 hrs ago
LAKEWOOD - Calling it a matter of public safety, the city of Lakewood is considering banning pit bull-type dogs. But dozens of dog owners refuse to be muzzled on the issue.
Wednesday night, more than 60 people attended a hearing before the public safety committee members of Lakewood City Council.
Hope Robbins was one of the Lakewood residents who attended the hearing. Many in the audience stated their opposition to the ban.
"I'm willing to sell my home and move out of Lakewood," Robbins said, "to keep my dog."
Robbins has an American Bulldog, but she is afraid her dog could be categorized as a pit bull.
"We don't want to lose our dogs," she said. "We consider them not only as just our pets, but our family members."
Lakewood Councilman Brian Powers sponsored the ordinance proposing the ban on pit bulls.
"We have had over the past year or so, a great increase in the number of these dogs in our city," Powers said. "Number of increase of attacks (in Lakewood). In January, we had a man attacked pretty seriously. And we had to impound 16 of these dogs in the first quarter of the year alone."
According to city records, in the past three years, three pit bulls were euthanized after attacking and biting people.
But the majority of people attending Wednesday's public hearing say the city should focus on prosecuting irresponsible owners instead of focusing on banning one breed of dog.
Powers said he understands the arguments made against the ban.
"I've sworn to protect the citizens of Lakewood and sometimes that requires hard choices," he said. "Police officers are risking their lives every day running into houses for various complaints, And this is just one more thing that they've let us know that they have to combat now -- is more and more of these dogs. And it causes an enforcement issue."
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Bless the Bullys