Dear Editor,

I'd like to educate the citizens of Ottumwa on what the city will surely face in the future if its breed-specific ordinance is not revised.

In 2019, the city of Sioux City, Iowa, after four long years of court battles, was forced to revise its pit bull ban. The Animal Farm Foundation funded this lawsuit and spend $300,000 to do so. For the first time, the discriminatory ordinance was up against being unconstitutional and the city had no choice but to revise.

The truth of the American pitbull is the breed tested better in temperament than many breeds, according to the American Temperament Testing Society, with a pass rate of 87.4%. That's better than the golden retriever at 85.6%, Australian cattle dog at 79.6% and even the English bulldog at 80%, just to name a few.

According to Embark, a leader in DNA testing, the two most found genetics in Iowa of mixed-breed dogs tested are a lab and the American pitbull.

It's time Ottumwa's city council sees the complete failure its pitbull ban is and quickly get busy to reverse it to include all breeds and stop using visualization to identify a dangerous dog. Quote from the American Veterinary Medical Association: "Any dog can bite." According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, early positive experiences — mostly notable socialization — are considered key in preventing aggressive tendencies in dogs.

Ottumwa's ordinance actually gives the community a false sense of security, as it does not keep the banned breed out of the city. It only eliminates these dogs from the experiences they need to eliminate aggression. I urge the city council to revise the pit bull ban.

Marcia McDaniel, Ottumwa

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