Sandy not likely to ban pit bulls

The ban is far from becoming reality

Jessica Wadkins and her pit bull terrier Lady Bug, May 15, 2015 (KOIN)
Jessica Wadkins and her pit bull terrier Lady Bug, May 15, 2015 (KOIN)

SANDY, Ore. (KOIN) — After one person’s dog was injured by a neighbor’s pit bull, residents asked the Sandy City Council to explore the idea of banning the breed.

Earlier this year, BJ Grimmer’s dog Zora had a run-in with his neighbor Jessica Wadkins’ pit bull terrier, Lady Bug.

“It was a very violent attack,” Grimmer told KOIN 6 News. “If I wasn’t there to ward it off, I guarantee you (my dog) would be dead.”

Wadkins said the city’s code enforcement division called her and said, “You need to be aware that there’s a situation that the neighbor’s gone to the city.”

Lady Bug is 5, Wadkins said. “I’ve had her since she was a puppy. We found her as a stray,” she told KOIN 6 News.

She began a petition against breed-specific legislation of any kind.

So far, the city council has asked the police chief to research what banning pit bulls would entail, and a report will be presented during an informational workshop next week.

Wadkins is almost to her goal of 1500 signatures, many from across the country. Sandy City Manager Seth Atkinson said they’ve had calls from as far away as Boston.

Atkinson said he will advise the city council against banning pit bulls, a decision supported by the chief of police.

The chief found pit bull bans are “problematic because of ambiguity of what constitutes a pit bull,” and added “legal issues involving state law appear to be bountiful.”

The cost and effectiveness of breed-specific legislation is questionable. “Right now, that’s not the staff recommendation,” Atkinson said. “We’re not going to recommend that we ban pit bulls at this point.”

“Any kind of dog can have a problem,” Wadkins said. “It’s not fair to discriminate against one type.”

Ban or no ban, BJ Grimmer just wants something done.

“I’m glad it was my dog and not any of my kids,” he said. “But it’s scary to be in my own backyard and be scared.”

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