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Sioux Falls leaders to discuss pit bull attacks

SIOUX FALLS (AP) -- Leaders in South Dakota's largest city are considering how to reduce the potential for dog attacks following an incident in which a man playing basketball in a Sioux Falls park was mauled by two pit bulls.

SIOUX FALLS (AP) -- Leaders in South Dakota's largest city are considering how to reduce the potential for dog attacks following an incident in which a man playing basketball in a Sioux Falls park was mauled by two pit bulls.

A City Council committee will next month begin a discussion on dog attacks and could seek public comment in late summer or early fall, Councilman Rex Rolfing told the Argus Leader newspaper.

Possibilities include banning certain breeds, as the city of Hurley has done, or requiring owners of certain breeds to register them and carry insurance, as in Tea. It likely will be a while before the Sioux Falls council takes any action, Rolfing said.

Councilman Dean Karsky presented dog bite statistics to the council last week and said he would support a ban on Rottweilers and pit bulls. Pit bulls are blamed for a recent attack on a 34-year-old man who was hospitalized with injuries that authorities said were not life-threatening. A police officer shot and killed one of the dogs when it turned on him.

"It's not just a bite, it's an attack," Karsky said. "It will be interesting to see what comes up; I want input, and to hear from both sides of the issue. Maybe I'm jaded just because I hear all the bad side."

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Councilman Kermit Staggers told the media that he has received numerous emails from people on both sides of the issue.

"Both sides seem to be very, very passionate about this. That's what I'm most surprised about is the passion over this," Staggers said.

"At this time, I'm just wanting to hear what kind of information we receive," he said. "I think it's important to keep in mind, when you have legislation, it's very important to thoroughly vet the issue itself because sometimes when you have one incident taking place and you respond by passing legislation, sometimes that's not the best legislation to pass."

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