During the regular City Commission meeting, Mayor Burke Garwood told citizen Christi Newman that "we don't want them, we won't have anything to do with them" when she requested that she be able to own pit bulls and remain in the city limits.
Newman came before the Commission saying that she had lived in Etowah for nearly two years and owned two pit bulls the entire time. She said that during her time in Etowah, law enforcement officials had been at her house " a couple of times," but had not informed her of the ban on that breed of dog.
"Never once had they notified me that you all have a pit bull ban," she said.
However, she said she learned about it last week and decided to come before the Commission to see it changed.
"Any dog may pose a threat," she said during the meeting. "I just bought a house. I don't want to have to move outside the City of Etowah just so my daughters can keep their dogs."
She added that there are special circumstances surrounding her animals.
"These are the same as service dogs because they help my children emotionally," Newman said, noting that her daughters have faced "big traumas in their lifetime."
"For them to be ripped out of my daughters' care would be putting them back into that trauma," she said.
Newman noted that she would be willing to have the dogs aggression tested and would be willing to get them registered if she could keep them.
"Right now my two dogs are with an 80-year-old woman in the city of Athens," she said. "If they posed a threat, she would not have these dogs."
Garwood, however, told her he was sorry, but that he didn't see the law changing.
"I'm probably going to speak for these guys right here that I don't see us changing that law anytime soon," he said. "There's no sympathy to do that."
Garwood explained that this issue was covered already when the ban was passed.
"We had a lot of discussion on this back in 2012," he explained. "It wasn't done lightly. ........
"THIS BREED CAN TURN IN A NEW YORK MINUTE.'
Commissioner Jim Swayne noted that at the time the ban was passed, there had been 16 police calls to pit bull incidents in seven months.
"Anybody who wants to keep them will have to keep them somewhere besides the city of Etowah," Garwood continued. "I don't think we're going to address changing that.