Federal lawsuit aims to end pit bull ban

"I think they're misconstrued that they're all going to bite and they're all aggressive and these city bans are only being breed specific on pit bulls."

WILLISTON, N.D. (KVRR) –People in Williston are filing a federal lawsuit against the city’s ban on pit bulls.

The argument states the ban is stripping an owner’s equal protection rights.

A city-wide ordinance that went into effect almost 34 years ago is being challenged by 12 people who identify themselves as pit bull owners.

A few local shelters say they agree with getting rid of the ban.

“I don’t think these bans that were set in place so many years ago should still be in effect it would be penalizing these wonderful dogs,” Uffda Fund for Animals Rescue Adoption Coordinator, Lindsey Masterson said.

“I personally don’t believe in banning any type of breed. I think each dog should be judged as an individual. Each dog has the capacity to be aggressive in the right circumstances,” Homeward Bound Animal Shelter Operations Director, Heather Clyde said.

Most bans are due to communities concern over dogs considered dangerous.

“If you do any research into the pit bull breed you will find that they were used to fight different animals and they made them to look more aggressive, but part of their breeding was also to make sure that they were never human aggressive,” said Clyde.

“I think they’re misconstrued that they’re all going to bite and they’re all aggressive and these city bans are only being breed specific on pit bulls. They don’t take into consideration all the other dogs that can be very aggressive,” said Masterson .

Although originally bred for fighting, both shelters say the aggression from these breeds has changed.

“They were originally bred for the fight rings, the fighting and the protection but they have been bred away from that. They are absolutely fantastic family pets now than they were before,” Masterson said.

“There’s been temperament tests done and they are saying pit bulls are just as good as golden retrievers, but of course depending on who the owner is, how well socialized they are, how many other animals or people they’ve been around that can all impact how they turn out,” said Clyde .

Both shelters say unfortunately it’s not always the best outcome for pit bulls so they take in as many as they can.

“If there isn’t a rescue that will step in and not a lot of rescues will take them just because it is a lot more difficult and a lot more issues with adopting them most of them are euthanized at no fault of their own,” said Masterson.

Fifteen cities in North Dakota have a ban on the pit bulls.

Fargo is not among them.

Categories: North Dakota News