Judge rules Iowa couple can keep pit bull

Dec. 29, 2011 at 4:48 PM
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AURELIA, Iowa, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- A judge ruled in favor of a couple seeking an injunction against an Aurelia, Iowa, law that bans pit bulls.

The couple, James Sak and Peggy Leifer, contended their 3-year-old pit bull Snickers acts as a service animal for Sak, a retired Chicago police officer who has been on disability since a 2008 stroke, the Sioux City (Iowa) Journal reported.

U.S. District Judge Mark W. Bennett ruled Wednesday lawyers for the city did not prove Aurelia would suffer "sustainable harm" by the dog, who has been housed at a Cherokee, Iowa, veterinarian kennel since Dec. 15.

Bennett also said there was sufficient evidence Sak and Leifer would suffer "substantial harm" without Snickers. The dog is trained to help Sak if he falls, Leifer said.

"Snickers can nudge him towards a wall and Jim can use the dog as a support," she said.

After paying a $1 bond, Sak and Leifer will be allowed to have Snickers in their home.

The ruling, however, only applies to Snickers; Aurelia's pit bull ban is otherwise still in effect.

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