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· Bitch Noone Wanted
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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

'Vicious animal' debate tabled

Hopkinton council delays discussion on whether to ban Rottweilers after girl's mauling death.

HOPKINTON, Iowa -- The City Council on Monday night tabled debate on whether to ban Rottweilers to allow the family of 3-year-old Vanessa Elizabeth Husmann to bury their daughter before discussing the issue.

"At this time, the discussion will be tabled until next meeting so we can gather some facts and also let this family have a little peace from this and a little time to grieve," said Mayor Cathy Harris to about 30 people packed into the small chambers.

Vanessa was attacked Saturday afternoon in her backyard by two of her grandfather's Rottweilers. She was pronounced dead at Jones Regional Medical Center in Anamosa.
At her grandparents' request, the dogs were euthanized.

Hopkinton has a vicious-animal ordinance that bars pit bulls and pit bull-mixed breeds from inside city limits.

Hopkinton resident Lisa Davis attended the meeting to defend her own 11-year-old German Shepard and Rottweiler mix.

While acknowledging the tragedy, Davis said she thinks no one should be criticized for owning a dog and that a dog shouldn't be judged by its breed.

"Any dog can attack," she said.

"A dog is a personal family member."

Davis, who has bred large dogs in the past, said she has a 27-year-old daughter who grew up around big dogs and never had any issues.

"I'm not going to lose my dog over what happened, period," she said. "... I don't know how anybody can justify taking my dog away from me when my dog wasn't the one that committed the crime."

Davis' husband, Jody, said he worries the council will try to sweep the ordinance through during the April 11 meeting without discussion.

"I want some honest input from the whole city," he said. "People need to stand up and talk and tell them what they think."

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