Muscatine City Council members temporarily lifted the breed ban in January, and on Thursday night – in a 5-2 vote – lifted it permanently.
Before that, the City of Muscatine had banned residents from having pit bulls within city limits since 2003.
Some dog owners had to keep their pets indoors because of the breed. Because of that, many dogs don’t have social skills.
Meagan Koehler founder of It Takes a Village Animal Rescue & Resources says the group will offer free socialization training classes.
“We will offer these socialization classes for free. We don’t want there to be a financial barrier for the public to be able to attend, so we found trainers that will work with us,” said Koehler. “They will be small class sizes. We have to keep in manageable because again we have to do this right we have to do this responsibly and we want to set up these dogs for success.”
Whitney Gray is the owner and trainer of Gray Canine LLC. She will teach the classes. She says every dog will have different training depending on their needs.
“We need to get the owners in a social setting so we can see one how they’re going to react, how the dogs are going to react, and so we can educate the owners on safe interactions with other dogs in pet-friendly places and things like that,” said Gray. “Some of these dogs are going to need basic obedience. They’re really excited to be out of the house. Some of them are going to be … fearful. They’re going to be ‘What’s this new experience?'”
The first training class will be on Wednesday, May 25.