Fort Thomas to keep pit bull ban in place

FORT THOMAS, Ky. -- Lovers of pit bulls should not move to Fort Thomas any time soon.

During a Monday night council meeting, the city's elected officials voted 4-3 to keep a 1988 ban on the breed in place.

Mayor Mary Brown broke a tie between six council members.

The issue originally came before the city's public safety committee earlier this year. That committee recommended the ban stay in place as well.

The ordinance prohibits dog owners from keeping pit bulls and dogs that resemble pit bulls within Fort Thomas city limits.

“We need to do something about this law,” Public Safety Committee Chair Tom Lampe told Fort Thomas Matters .

During the public safety committee meeting, Fort Thomas city administrator Don Martin presented research on pit bulls and similar breeds. The research showed 19 nearby cities and counties also restrict pits bulls in some way.

About 60 residents attended that meeting, some who don't live in Fort Thomas, but who are glad the pit bull ordinance could change.

Mayor Brown said she wasn't surprised by that turnout, but didn't expect people from surrounding towns to join.

"I was surprised that there were so many people outside of our community giving input," Brown said.

Stephanie Holstein frequents the Fort Thomas dog park with her dog, Lacey. Even though Lacey is not a pit bull, Holstein believes the ban should go.

"I think all dogs are beautiful and awesome," Holstein said. "The way a dog behaves is a reflection of their training and their trainer."

Resident Gina Stegner wants Fort Thomas to be a place pit bulls can call home.

"I think that this became a heated issue for the people of Fort Thomas about a year ago when the friend I mentioned was told to get rid of his dog based on the way his dog looked, and again he was able to prove his dog was not a pit bull, but they wanted him to get rid of it, and that is what got people upset about the law," Stegner said.

Several pit bull advocates brought their concerns to Martin, including the large number of dogs that need loving homes, but have no chance of finding their forever home in Fort Thomas.

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Most recently, a sign was posted at a Fort Thomas dog park to remind pet owners that pit bulls and breeds like pit bulls are not allowed inside.

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