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Petition to end ban on pit bulls makes its way around Muscatine

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MUSCATINE, Ia-- A petition is making its way around Muscatine to lift its ban on pit bulls.

The current ban prohibits any keeping of pit bulls or ones that have the appearance of one.

"A lot of people are just fearful of them just because of what they heard or what they look like," says Muscatine Resident, Vanessa Lopez.

Lopez started the petition back in early July after researching for more than 4 months on the city's pit bull ban.

Since then she's received more than 500 signatures.

"(I've gotten) a lot of positive responses. A lot of people don’t agree with the ban," says Lopez, "it's basically discriminating against (pit bulls) because of what certain ones had done."

The ban was passed back in 2003 after the city dealt with attacks and problems with the pit bull breed.

"It's a touchy subject and I understand that it is," says Animal Control Officer, Nicole Ashby.

"You're not allowed to have American Pit bull Terriers, Staffordshire Terriers or American Stafford Terriers those basically fall under the umbrella of the word pit bull," says Ashby.

This isn't the first time residents have tried to push back the ban, last year a couple tried to put an end to it as well. 

But Lopez says her approach to end the ban is different than before.

She says she wants to abolish the ban and in its place put a dangerous dog ordinance that is breed neutral. Lopez has received outside help from Stephanie Filer of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.

Filer has been successful in helping cities change to a dangerous dog ordinance in other Iowa towns and cities. 

"It's still enforcing public safety but without discrimination," says Lopez.

Lopez is confident she will get enough signatures to bring to the city council and hopes the city council will hear out her petition.

"The only thing I’m a little rocky on right now is if the city is actually gonna listen," says Lopez.

For now Lopez will keep pushing for more signatures for her petition.

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