Manly to enforce pit bull ban

Posted at: 01/06/2013 10:44 PM
By: Brittany Lewis

(ABC 6 News)--A decision to enforce a pit bull ban in northern Iowa town leaves some wondering what to do with their dogs.

The Manly City Council voted Wednesday to enforce a 2008 ban on pit bulls from the city, now dog owners have until Monday to get them out of city limits.

 A city council member said the ban was put in place in 2008 after two small kids were pinned against a fence by two pit bulls, but the ban was never enforced. After calls from citizens and a new mayor, the council visited the issue again earlier this year and decided that if the city had an ordinance, it needed to be enforced.

 Patrick Eastman owns a 7-year-old pit bull named Hyfie.

 "She's a happy dog. Loves kids, great with people,” said Eastman.

 “She was raised as a dog, as a pet. She wasn't raised as a pit bull, so I mean she's raised as a pet, as a family member,” said Yvonne Meyer. 

A few days before Thanksgiving, the five pit bull owners of Manly received a letter from the police department.

 "The city of manly code of ordinances in keeping such dangerous animals is prohibited within the city limits of Manly. As the ordinance reads, these animals are to be removed within 72 hours of this notice,” read Shelly Romine, a pit bull owner.

 “This fall there's been several people coming out while they're walking at night, running out after them, and called city council and we've got a pit bull ordinance why isn't it enforced,” said Scott Heagel, City Councilman.

 The owners were given a chance to appeal, but on Wednesday, the vote was in and the dogs had to go.

 "We were devastated, we weren't sure what we were gonna do with him,” said Romine.

 Hegal says he understands why the pit bull owners are upset, but says he voted based on the concerns of citizens.

 "I can't tell people not to be afraid of a pit, I none of these dogs that got letters, anybodys ever saying they were gonna attack. I can't tell people they are not gonna attack or that they are gonna attack,” said Hegal.

 With less than 24 hours to remove their dogs from the city limits, some pit bull owners are left wondering what to do.  

 "We're not real positive what we're gonna do,” said Romine.

"We've had her for seven years, we're responsible pet owners and we're not gonna just give her up like that, because of the fact that they're telling us we have to,” said Meyer.

 Those that don’t comply with the ordinance could be charged with a simple misdemeanor, which costs around $65.