The city council in Sioux City passed the final reading Monday of a repeal of a portion of its animal control code that bans the ownership of pit bulls.
The pit bull issue has been a hot topic of discussion for weeks and was part of amendments made to the code that also defined high risk, at-large and vicious pets. Glenn Baker was one of two residents who spoke in favor of keeping the pit bull ban.
“I know you guys have talked about it extensively here. I think there’s probably been a lot of work done behind the scenes for threats of lawsuits for what might be proposed,” Baker said. “I might be one voice, but I think I represent way more people than ever sat down at this council meeting for this city that would agree with what I am asking.”
Many more spoke in favor of ending the ban — including Siouxland Humane Society president, Judy Grimsley.
“Every dog really should be treated on its own merits, its own behaviors,” Grimsley says. “I’d like to thank the city attorney also for bringing this forward. The Siouxland Humane Society’s board of directors are all in favor of repealing this ban — so I would encourage you to vote accordingly.”
Each council member talked about their thoughts on the ban. Rhonda Capron — who recently lost a bid for re-election — read a prepared statement defending her support of pit bulls and repealing the ban. She also spoke about former council member Jim Rixner who voted for the original ban 11 years ago and pushed to keep it in place.
“I’ve been called out in the Hy-Vee parking lot, through emails, texts, phones calls and even in the Sioux City Journal editorial page twice by Jim Rixner. Who I might add is a past council member,” Capron said. ” He had the audacity to call out a sitting council woman — me — a gang banger or want to be gang banger because I own a pitbull mix. Shame on you Jim Rixner.”
The council voted 4-1 to end the pit bull ban, with council member Pete Goetken the only vote to keep the ban.
(By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City/photo from the Sioux City Government webpage)