PARMA, OH (WOIO) - Camille Dakdouk says his pit bull Jerk is like his child.
So one can only imagine that when the dog warden in Parma told him he had to get rid of Jerk, a 13-year-old pure-bred, he moved all the way to Richland.
"She warned me, said if she sees this dog anywhere around Parma she would take him away from me. Of course anyone is gonna get mad, it's like your kid, you telling me you're not allowed to be here because your kid looks vicious," Dakdouk said.
He moved almost three years ago after living in Parma for almost 30 years. He says Jerk never attacked anyone and he never had any formal complaints from the city, but Jerk made some people nervous.
He didn't fight it because he was weary.
"I kept on hiding my dog, like picking him up so nobody would see and about eight months later, I just decided to move," Dakdouk said.
Parma prohibits owning, harboring or keeping a pit bull within city limits.
Dakdouk says pit bulls and their owners get a bad reputation.
"People use them for a lot of stuff that doesn't even matter, you know what I mean? It's a lot of bad stories about these dogs and it's not the dog's fault, it's the people who own them," he said.
He's not the only one who feels this way. Dakdouk's customers at Rite-Nau agree.
"Doggin' the dog. Don't do that to them," said one customer.
"I don't know, I think the little dogs are more frightening than the big dogs," said another customer.
Dakdouk's customers love Jerk.
"He's like a baby. But I bet you if someone tried to hurt him, he'd be protective of him," said one customer.
At the end of the day, Dakdouk says he hopes people get to know the dogs and their owners before they make judgments.