By Mary Pieper, from Globe Gazette
The Manly City Council Wednesday voted to uphold its ban on pit bulls.
Pit bull owners who were sent letters about the ban now have until Monday to remove their dogs from the city.
A number of citizens came to the meeting to speak on the issue, both for and against the ban.
Yvonne Meyer said she didn’t know the town had a pit bull ban when she moved to Manly with her 7-year-old pit bull a year and a half ago.
“Pit bulls can be nice dogs,” she said.
Collier Marinos said banning a particular breed is like not allowing Mexicans in town because of drug dealers in Mexico.
He said a puppy, like a human baby, “knows nothing of the violence of the world.”
He said owners are responsible for how their dogs are raised.
Marinos said the ban tells him that city officials “don’t trust our residents.”
He said Manly already has a vicious animal ordinance and a leash law, and that should be enough.
However, Rick Aguilera noted the vicious animal ordinance doesn’t go into effect until someone is attacked.
“Are we going to wait until someone is torn up?” he asked.
Aguilera, who used to be a mail carrier, said he had to use pepper spray to defend himself from pit bulls on his route.
The ban on pit bulls was passed in 2008 after an incident in which a pit bull terrier threatened two children by backing them against a fence.
“The council didn’t just pull it (the ban) out of the air,” said council member Scott Heagel, noting Manly residents requested it.
However, the ordinance was not enforced, according to Mayor Kevin Isaacson.
The council revisited the ordinance in April and decided against rescinding it.
The issue came up again in November, when letters were sent to pit bull owners telling them they had 10 days to remove them from the city limits.
After the pit bull owners came to a city council meeting that month to protest, the council decided to table the discussion. The topic was back on the agenda Wednesday.
Heagel said he talked to 20 people in town who said the council should enforce the ordinance. Two others he spoke to didn’t care either way.
Heagel said an 88-year-old man in Ventura recently spent a week in the hospital in Rochester, Minn., after his daughter’s pit bull attacked him.
“That dog shredded him,” he said.
The vote to uphold the ban was 3-0, with Heagel, Buck Leake and Joe Ryan voting in favor of the ban. Council members Lon Badker and Ron Post were absent.