The city of Pawtucket says it will defend its pit bull ban against a lawsuit challenging it. The Pawtucket ban appears to conflict with state law.
Pawtucket banned pit bulls nine years ago. The ordinance is now being challenged by pit bull owner Albert Alix and a group called Defenders of Animals. They said the ordinance was invalidated when the General Assembly enacted a state law forbidding cities and towns from breed-specific bans on dogs and cats. But Tony Pires, Pawtucket’s director of administration, said the ordinance is exempt from state law because it predates it.
The City of Pawtucket said a new state law blocking cities and towns from banning certain breeds of animals does not apply to them. At issue is Pawtucket’s longstanding ban against the ownership of pit bulls.
Pawtucket officials said they will continue to enforce a ban on pit bulls despite a new state law that forbids cities and towns from outlawing the ownership of specific breeds of dogs or cats. Pawtucket director of administration Tony Pires said the law applies only to future bans, not ones already on the books like theirs.