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Banned Pit Bull Service Dog Reunites with Retired Cop

Banned Pit Bull Service Dog Reunites with Retired Cop

I honestly couldn’t believe my eyes when I read in Dogster that a Pit Bull mix service dog was banned from Aurelia, Iowa. Jim Saks, a retired cop, and his wife moved there in November to help take care of her mother. Initially, the city government, decided that they would make no exceptions for service dogs. A ban on all Pit Bulls has been in place since 2008. Snickers was no longer welcome in Aurelia and would be euthanized if he stayed. It didn’t matter that Snickers’s only history was that of a friendly, extremely helpful dog that never left Sak’s side since his stroke three years ago. Saks, visibly shaken and disturbed, acted quickly to save Snicker’s life. He brought him to a nearby town, where he was welcome, and temporarily boarded him at a veterinary facility and then a foster home, to save his dog’s life.

Buying himself time worked in his favor, at least temporarily. Saks (who fell at least once without Snickers by his side) filed a federal lawsuit, knowing that the American with Disabilities Act allows people with disabilities a right to any breed of service dogs. According to CBS Chicago, a Federal judge ruled that Snickers could be returned to Saks and allowed to live in Aurelia, at least temporarily. The city could however counter sue. The Saks’s are now looking to ensure that Snickers can remain with them forever and the Animal Farm Foundation is assisting them with their case.

On National Pit Bull Awareness Day, I posted about the negative stigma associated with Pit Bulls, often due to a disproportionate amount of press. Bay Area Dog Lovers Responsible About Pit Bulls (BADRAP) has been educating the public with their monster myths. In a recent study of 122 dog breeds, by the American Temperament Society (ATTS), Pit Bulls achieved a passing rate of 83.9. That even passes Golden Retrievers and Beagles, according to BADRAP.

In my opinion, saying that all Pit Bulls have aggression issues is no more accurate than saying all people of any color, sex, sexual orientation, size, etc. are dangerous. My hope is that Snickers will be allowed to stay in Aurelia and that the town eliminates their ban on Pit Bulls.

What do you think? Should Snickers be allowed to live in Aurelia, Iowa with Saks? Should Pit Bulls be banned in any communities? Thanks for voting in our poll below and posting your comment.

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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.


+ add your own
8:49PM PST on Jan 17, 2014

Absolutely this man should get his dog back. I don't understand why on earth they're so determined to take away a dog that has shown no aggression whatsoever! Don't they have better things to do than break this mans heart?! Stop wasting tax payers dollars for your personal distaste! How can I help?

1:31PM PDT on Sep 7, 2012

So sad

10:10PM PDT on Jul 23, 2012


4:21PM PDT on Jul 13, 2012

Education, education and education!!!!!!!

We need to teach people, bans are no solutions!!!, bans are discrimination!!!!

8:06PM PDT on Jul 10, 2012

People should not put labels on dogs anymore than they should on people. Come on people lets get educated !!!!!

4:30PM PDT on Jul 6, 2012

There are a lot so stupid people who have a very wrong impression of Pitt Bulls. I hope in time (sooner, rather than later) they will come to their senses!

12:22PM PDT on Jul 6, 2012


9:34AM PDT on Jul 6, 2012

Thank you

8:28AM PDT on May 18, 2012


4:05AM PST on Mar 5, 2012


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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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