Parma Should Keep Its Pit Bull Ban

In 2017 in the U.S., at least 39 people lost their lives to attacks by dogs. Of those 39 reported cases, pit bulls contributed to 74% (29) of these deaths. This shocking statistic comes from the website dogsbite.org, which has conducted extensive research into media reported fatal attacks from pit bulls in order to advocate for victims of these attacks and to provide a factual counterpoint against pit bull apologists. From extended research into the 13 year period from 2005 to 2017, dogsbite.org has found that pit bulls were involved in 65% of 433 deaths in the U.S. alone. These statistics, as well as my personal experience having to defend my dog from a sudden pit bull attack, are why I support Parma's existing ban on pit bull dogs.

Parma's pit bull ban, as specified in Chapter 618.09 of Parma's Codified Ordinances, was implemented in 1986. Because of pit bulls' tendency to aggression, and the potential to inflict fatal injury against people and our pets when they attack, I believe the law is wise and should stay. There are plenty of other cities in the area where people who desire to house pit bulls may live. We are under no obligation to make our city one of them. On Monday, September 17th some of our fellow citizens who oppose the ban will attend the Parma City Council meeting to petition for its repeal. While this is great of them to exercise their rights and duties as citizens, I disagree with them and I will be present to support the law and advocate for the victims of pit bull attacks. I hope other Parma residents who wish to keep our city safe from dangerous dog breeds will also attend, or write their councilmen and women to share their thoughts. I also ask that our City Council research both sides of this issue, and consider what their support of a repeal would mean if a resident or their animal companion is the victim of a pit bull attack.

Austin Ashwill

I grew up in Parma Heights and attended Saint Ignatius High School and Case Western Reserve University. I then lived out of state for seven years while in the Army and later civilian employment. I recently moved back to the Cleveland area and am a homeowner in Parma.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 3:39 PM, 09.02.2018