Cedar Rapids police investigator spends free time advocating against municipal breed bans

Dozens of cities in Iowa ban certain kinds of dogs.
Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 10:36 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - An Eastern Iowa police officer said breed bans are often put in place to keep people safe, but he said they do the opposite of that.

Investigator Chris Collins with the Cedar Rapids Police Department is trained in how to spot animal abuse or neglect, but he said that’s not the case when it comes to determining if a dog is a pit bull.

“In all of the training I’ve done, no one has ever said this is what you’re looking for to identify a pit bull,” he said.

He said the laws could put municipalities at risk with officers making their determination of what dogs were categorized as pit bulls. That was one of the reasons why he advocates for municipalities to get rid of their breed-specific bans in his free time.

“There are 23 different dog breeds that make up what a generic term for pitbull, and I could probably justify labeling any dog as having a characteristic of one of those breeds,” he said.

He’s reached out to lawmakers for the last five years since helping to reverse the breed ban in his hometown of Anamosa. Collins said his girlfriend, now wife, was going to move in with him, and she wasn’t allowed to because of the city’s ban on pit bulls.

“Phone calls only go so far,” said Collins.

He’s determined to make changes, so people don’t have to lose their pets, and law enforcement isn’t tasked with what he believes is unenforceable.

“It’s such a drain on law enforcement resources, family resources, and it’s not a good public reception when cities try to do this,” he said.

Lawmakers looked to pass a bill regarding animal abuse in the last legislative session. That bill didn’t pass.