If Norma Bird-Wright has her way, Ramona will be the next city in Marion County to restrict ownership of certain breeds of dogs, specifically pit bulls and similar breeds.
She is concerned about safety, especially for children in Ramona.
“What I want is a pit bull ban, and I’m going to take it to city council,” she said Monday. “They are a dangerous breed.”
Bird-Wright estimates that there are 10 or more pit bulls living in Ramona, not including puppies.
She plans to address Ramona City Council at its meeting 7 p.m. Monday about her request for a ban on pit bulls in the city.
Ramona Mayor Brendan Bailey said he doesn’t have an opinion on the topic yet and wants more time to look at the facts. He does know that people on both sides of the issue are passionate.
Bird-Wright has seen passion from pit bull supporters go too far. She said she has been threatened over comments she made online about not wanting pit bulls in Ramona.
Marion and Hillsboro both restrict certain breeds of dogs. Marion prohibits keeping Staffordshire bull terriers, American pit bull terriers, rottweilers, and any dog that is primarily one of those breeds. If there is a dispute about the breed of a dog, the city relies on a local veterinarian to make the determination. The ordinance was passed in 2003.
Hillsboro prohibits keeping Staffordshire bull terriers, American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, and any dog that is primarily one of those breeds. The ordinance was passed in 1993.
Both cities had grandfather clauses allowing owners who already had them in the cities to keep them as long as they met requirements for insurance and safety measures. Hillsboro never had any of the dogs registered, and the ones that were registered in Marion are no longer in town.
Marion Assistant City Clerk Becky Makovec said she remembered that dogs had been killed and children bitten before Marion passed its ban on pit bulls, and she thinks that is what started the push.
Makovec said such dogs aren’t naturally vicious, and that she recently read rottweilers make great family pets.
“It’s all in how they’re raised,” she said.
Peabody doesn’t have a ban on pit bulls, instead banning ownership of wolves and wolf-dog hybrids, City Clerk Stephanie Ax said.
City officials in Tampa and Lincolnville couldn’t be reached for information about whether those cities restrict any dog breeds.