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City of Muscatine lifts pit bull ban

City council passed a 5-2 vote Thursday making it legal to own a pit bull in Muscatine.

MUSCATINE, Iowa — The Muscatine City Council voted to lift its ban on pit bulls Thursday after a majority of council members were in favor of removing the ban.

The council voted 5-2 to strike Title 6, Chapter 9 regarding the "Keeping of Pit Bulls," subject to the same regulations all pet owners face.

The City of Muscatine, Iowa - City Government City Council voted 5-2 to strike Title 6, Chapter 9 of City Code...

Posted by Discover Muscatine on Thursday, May 5, 2022

The city had its decades-long ban temporarily lifted on Jan. 13, after community and council members said they were exploring ways to change the law to focus on more aggressive dogs in general. That ruling also passed in a 5-2 vote.

The council met on Feb. 17 to discuss possible changes to the rule, previously saying it would distinguish the differences between "dangerous" and "vicious" dogs. The updates would not ban dogs deemed dangerous and vicious to the public, but the new code says those dogs must be kept on a leash in a limited area and owners must display warning signs.

"We did not have code language that was specific to that prior, it sort of fell under dangerous and vicious animals," said Muscatine City Administrator Carol Webb in February.

In February's meeting, council members also discussed adding restrictions on tethering, from distance to collars, that could be applied as well.

"We're not doing anything necessarily as a reaction measure to some incidents, it's really about how we move the community forward," Webb said.

The proposed guidelines also outlined out the owner's responsibility to keep their pets with adequate care including vaccinations.

Muscatine's full proposed animal code from Feb. 17 can be found here.

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