pitbull dog
A Lowell city councilor has called for a city-wide ban on pit bulls following the death of a 7-year-old boy in Massachusetts, Oct. 23, 2017. In this photo, a Pitbull dog available for adoption poses for photos at the NYC ASPCA Adoption Center in New York City, Oct. 29, 2015. Getty Images

In the days following a devastating attack in which a 7-year-old boy was fatally mauled by two pit bull dogs, a Lowell city, Massachusetts councilor has proposed a citywide ban on pit bulls, reports said Monday.

A 7-year-old boy was killed Saturday night after a dog attack in The Acre section of the city. A preliminary investigation into the incident suggested that the attack took place when the unidentified child was said to have entered a fenced-in area on Clare Street that housed two pit bulls, according to a press release from the Middlesex District Attorney's Office obtained by a local media outlet the Lowell Sun.

After the attack, one of the pit bulls escaped the enclosed area and was later located and euthanized. The other pit bull has been in custody of Lowell Animal Control. No charges have been filed yet.

Following the incident, Councilor Rodney Elliot has been saying that the city should ban pit bulls. Elliot explained, "The strength, the power, and the aggressive nature of this dog is different from other dogs."

He also explained that other laws in the city have already paved the way for the ban saying “We adopted an ordinance in the city to not allow chickens to be raised and there is a ban on chickens in the city because it is a public health issue. This is a public safety issue.”

"What I would say is we just lost a little boy. I think we have to take a measure to do what it takes to prevent that from happening again,” he added.

A rise in pit bull attacks led to the June 2011 passage of the Responsible Pit Bull Ownership Ordinance in Lowell city, Massachusetts. But that ordinance had been overruled when state legislation outlawed breed-specific regulations, which was signed by then-Gov. Deval Patrick in 2012, the Lowell Sun reported.

However, Elliot told the Lowell Sun that the legislature should let the cities and towns to handle the decision.

Various organizations associated with animal safety have said that pit bulls, a common name that is actually used to characterize several breeds of dogs, are not a dangerous breed.

"Some pit bulls were selected and bred for their fighting ability. That means that they may be more likely than other breeds to fight with dogs. It doesn't mean that they can't be around other dogs or that they're unpredictably aggressive," the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals wrote in a position statement on pit bulls.

"Other pit bulls were specifically bred for work and companionship," the ASPCA continued. "These dogs have long been popular family pets, noted for their gentleness, affection, and loyalty. And even those pit bulls bred to fight other animals were not prone to aggressiveness toward people."
However, Elliott said there are currently 74 registered pit bulls in the city of the population of about 108,000 people. He said the city needs to take steps in order to prevent another tragedy.

"People shouldn’t have to be worried about walking their dogs where they live, who has a dog that is unpredictable and very aggressive in nature," Elliott said, according to Boston CBS Local.