Parma residents prepare to vote on city’s existing pit bull ban

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PARMA, Ohio– Brian Shoulders’ 18-year-old neighbor was viciously attacked by the family’s pit bull in Parma Tuesday morning.

“I heard screams then came outside and saw my neighbor with blood all over her. Bites in her hands and feet. Totally distressed,” he said.

Parma police and animal control were called to the scene around 11 a.m. on West 48th Street.

“Two dogs were fighting inside the house in the hallway in the homeowners home and they were trying to separate the dogs. As she was doing and she ended up at being attacked,” Sgt. Daniel Ciryak said.

The victim was transported by ambulance to a local hospital with several injuries, but is expected to be  OK.

The incident comes exactly one week before residents in Parma are set to vote on Issue 10: Whether to keep the city’s breed specific legislation, which has been on the books for more than three decades.

Mayor Tim DeGeeter pursued the ballot initiative last fall, after hearing from both sides of the pit bull ban controversy.

“We thought it was the most democratic approach. It was an option that we had heard that wanted to repair it. Also, we took the collective step back in February to have it placed on the primary ballot,” DeGeeter said.

Members of the ASPCA, which is in favor of the passage of Issue 10, have been going door to door, urging voters to join their mission.

“We believe that it’s a Parma citizen’s right to decide what type of dog they take into their home,” said outreach manager Alexandria Cerussi.

After learning about the most recent pit bull attack in the city, supporters of Issue 10 still feel any dog of any breed has a tendency to be vicious and that pit bulls should not be targeted.

The owner of the pit bull in Tuesday’s attack, the victim’s mother, was cited and fined for violating Parma’s current law, which bans pit bulls of any kind in the city.

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