The City Council in Sioux City passed the second reading of a proposal to repeal the ban on pit bulls and other similar dogs on a 3-2 vote Monday.
Emotions ran high again during discussion of the issue as former council member Jim Rixner lobbied to keep the ban in place. Rixner voted for the original ban ten years ago.
“I think you are putting the city in jeopardy,” Rixner said, “but I also think you are also putting the city in financial jeopardy. If a pit bull bites me, I am going to sue the owner and I am also going to sue the city for repealing a highly effective ordinance that was keeping this city safe.”
Rixner called on council woman Rhonda Capron to declare a conflict of interest and not vote because she owns a pit bull mix dog. Capron refused to abstain from the vote. Marjorie Hattig of Sioux City was among several residents sharing their stories about how pit bulls are their service animals and help them to survive.
“My dog has been trained to teach me when my blood sugar is too high or too low, so I don’t die,” Hattig said. “I have depression really bad — and if it wasn’t for this dog — I would be dead today.”
The first vote was 4-1 on October 14th. Councilman Dan Moore changed his vote to no on this reading and asked the council to wait for two weeks before the third and final vote would take place. That vote will occur at the November 4th council meeting. Councilman Pete Groetken was the other no vote. Mayor Bob Scott, Capron and Alex Watters voted in favor of repealing the ban.
(By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)