Andover City Council has voted to allow newly annexed pet owners to keep pit bulls, under certain conditions.
The ordinance has been in place since 2001 and doesn’t allow residents to own pit bulls in Andover.
Annexed pit bull owners were unhappy at the meeting Tuesday, that set guidelines for them to be able to keep their pit bulls, because of what they believe are rules that are too strict and inhumane.
“It’s just really unfair for me and the other pit bull owners,“ said Kyle Nilsen.
“They’re putting us in a city, we don’t want to be there, and they’re making us change everything for that,“ said annexed pit bull owner, Diana McCann.
Diana and Gerry McCann have lived in their home since 1996
Now that it’s been annexed into Andover, they have to take several steps to keep their pit bull rescue Bailey.
Under the amended ordinance, pit bull owners will have to pay a yearly fee of ten to $15, will have to use a leash and keep their pit bull muzzled if outside an enclosed area, and they will have to keep their pet within a six-foot fence if loose at home.
“In order to update our yard, so that it meets city requirements, it’s going to cost a couple thousand dollar,“ said Gerry McCann.
Pit bulls are still not allowed under the ordinance, except for those residents who have been annexed in.
“They are trying to accommodate these people,“ said Mike Keller, Andover’s police chief. “No one wants to see them lose a pet or family member.“
But the McCains say the breed specific ordinance may cause them to take other actions.
“If we moved out of here it would be because of the dog, because of Bailey,“ said Diana McCann.
“This has been an effort to try, and accommodate the people moving in the best that we can but still keep our community safe,“ said Keller.