Mayor says Girard Pit bull ban here to stay - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Mayor says Girard Pit bull ban here to stay

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GIRARD, Ohio -

The Mayor of Girard says he won’t give in to some residents who for the past six months, have been lobbying city leaders to end the city’s ban on Pit bulls.

Fans of the breed claim that the animal is misunderstood and they want the city to lift the prohibition.

It was 1987 when the city enacted the ordinance:

505.14  DANGEROUS AND VICIOUS DOGS.

   (a)   No person shall own, keep, or harbor a Pit bull terrier, as defined herein, or any other type of vicious dog within the Municipal limits of the City of Girard.

Nearly thirty years later, Mayor Melfi still supports the ban.

 "I have done some investigating and the fact that most insurance companies won't insure home owners if they have a Pit bull is one reason we are not interested in lifting the ban,” said Melfi. “That means if a Pit bull harms someone or somebody else’s dog they are not insured to pay the victim any damages incurred by that particular dog."

The mayor says he is not against dogs. He says he loves them and even owns a dog. "Many of the lots in Girard are only 40 to 50 feet wide, and with the homes being so close together, who would want to let their kids play outside if a Pit bull was living next door?" asked Melfi.

Melfi claims that of all humans killed by dogs in 2014, 65 percent were victims of Pit bulls, even though the breed makes up only 6 percent of the dog population.

“That this not breed discrimination,” said Melfi. “You really don't see in the news where they say, someone was killed by a Beagle, or a Golden Retriever, or a Schnauzer so there is plenty of evidence speaking to this result. The bottom line is that elected leaders much protect people.”

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