Medford City Council Discusses Possible Pit Bull Ban

, Written by Kyle Aevermann, Posted: Thu, January 9 2014 at 6:02 PM, Updated: Thu, January 16 2014 at 11:31 AM

The Medford Police Department came before the city council Thursday asking for more restrictions on "dangerous dogs."

But some say dogs are not the problem, it's the owner's who need regulations.

Medford Police say that in the past 3 years, there have been 11 fatal dog bites, 8 of those have been from pitbull or pitbull mixes.

"If we are going to see a dog at a drug search warrant, the majority are pit bulls. It's the choice of a southern Oregon drugs dealers," said Brett Johnson of the Medford Police Department.

But not everyone agrees with police.

"What he didn't mention the pit bulls are also the choice of responsible pet owners," said Rachelle Long, a pit bull owner.

Long is an advocate for pit bulls and has owned one for three years. Snd says while she feels most pitbulls are stereotyped she does agree certain restrictions should be in place.

"I think you need to make it more difficult for this breed to get in the hands of the wrong person, which means licensing. And if people can't be responsible they shouldn't have a dog."

That's exactly what Police Chief Tim George wanted to emphasize.

"I don't have any problems with anyone owning a pit bull or rottweiler or whatever, as long as they are responsible with that animal but we have to establish those requirements are because they are wide open," said George.

Other options besides a full on ban includes, posting warning signs, requiring muzzles in public, and purchasing specialized insurance.

"It just breaks my heart that they are getting this reputation and people are encouraging it," said Ariel Jarvis, a concerned pit bull owner.

No decision was made, the city council is moving the issue to the Police Advisory Commission.

No comments were allowed in Thursday's meeting.

Public input will be allowed within the next few weeks.

Councilor's hope to have a final decision sometime this spring.

What do you think? Sound off on our Facebook page and on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

About the Author

Kyle Aevermann

Kyle Aevermann reports weekdays and anchors NBC 5 News Weekends. He joined NBC 5 News in March 2012 as a morning producer and reporter. Prior to joining KOBI, Kyle interned at KISL-FM on Catalina Island, CA. He was also a regular contributor to CNN's citizen journalism program.

Originally from the Chicago-land area, Kyle moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2009 to work in the social media industry. Kyle enjoys hiking, traveling, learning about cultures, and has a serious love for food.

Catch Kyle anchoring weekends on NBC 5 News at 6pm and 11pm.

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