Owner of pit bulls asks Andover to review ban

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The owner of two pit bulls in Andover wants the city's ban on the breed changed. He's already received a warning from city officials and is worried his family will have to give them up.

David Foley took the case to the Andover City Council during Tuesday night's meeting. He said one of his dogs is just one percent pit bull and they've had no aggression complaints. 

"Catch up. It's antiquated, knee jerk, laws," he said. "It's time to make amends."

Foley has owned Diesel and Abby for four years. He said there were no complaints from neighbors or the public until a few weeks ago. 

"Not an official," he said, "just a neighbor who was aware and made a complaint."

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But in the eyes of the city, the complaint has weight. Andover has had a ban on pit bulls after a mauling 20 years ago, and that apparently applies to Foley's dogs. 

"Gentle, loving, caring animals. No aggression. Never aggressive. Family pets, in a good home -- a responsible dog owner's home," Foley said. 

But the Council said it's a matter of public safety. 

"A 10 or 12 pound chihuahua can't do the damage a pit bull can do. That is the difference," said Andover City Council President Kris Estes, who believes the ban is fair. "We've just had another pit bull mauling a few weeks ago. It's hard for me to change my sentiment."

Estes did say, however, that the Council is open to looking at the ordinance. 

"It's our job, as an elected official, if the public comes to us and says, 'will you revisit this,' absolutely."

Andover police gave Foley a deadline to surrender the dogs. That time has passed, and now he faces a citation and a possible court date. 

"It's discrimination at it's best regarding canines."

Foley said he said he'd try to find a home and the Council would be open to an issue during a workshop in the future. No vote was planned for Tuesday night's meeting. 

There's an online petition to let the Foleys keep Diesel and Abby. 

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