Pit bull debate continues in Fort Thomas

(FOX19 File photo)
(FOX19 File photo)

FORT THOMAS, KY (FOX19) - The debate heated up tonight on whether or not to allow pit bulls in Fort Thomas.

Nearly 30 years ago, the city banned the breed altogether.

Whether you live down the street in Fort Thomas or 45 miles away, this isn't just a city-wide debate. Some are fine with leaving the 1988 law as is, and there's even a group that gathered nearly 300 signatures to give the city to help sway the decision.

"They become more aggressive than any other breed. If the pit does bite, it inflicts serious injuries, most than any other breeds," said Preston Manning.

If the city lifts this longstanding ban, there's talks of requiring each pit bull owner to get behavioral certification for their dog to determine if they're too aggressive.

"Evaluate that dog and once it got certification, then that dog would be registered," said Fort Thomas Mayor Mary Brown.

[Related: Fort Thomas considers lifting pit bull ban]

Tammy Nolan helped build the Fort Thomas dog park and her pit bull was the mascot for the park. She says the ban should be abolished.

"That's what we need to do is educate. We need to ask all these people who are opposing these pit bulls, do they have a dog," said Tammy Nolan.

Eric Haas with the city understands this is a sensitive topic, and wants everyone to know they're doing extensive research before making any decision.

He says they're willing to compromise with potentially allowing the breed, but they'd possibly ban them from the dog park and require a leash and muzzle when out walking.

"My dog was never muzzled because that will cause aggression with a dog," said Nolan.

"Allow me to have the dog that I want, and the other side is I'm afraid of these dogs, keep them out of the city so how do we solve both of these problem? And this is a good potential compromise," said Fort Thomas Mayor Pro Tem Eric Haas.

Council says they have these forums because they want to learn as much as possible about the pit bull breed.

FOX19 talked to several residents who say they wouldn't be opposed to seeing something like this on November's ballot.

City council plans to hold a few more public forums to talk about the pit bull ban. They don't expect a decision to be made for at least a month or two.

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