What started last week when a Casper couple asked the city council to consider banning pit bulls rapidly escalated to social media rumormongering that the council intended to do just that.

Since then, council member Shawn Johnson had been tamping down the rumor, even persuading a resident who planned a protest with pit bull owners that council had not even talked about a ban.

At a council work session Tuesday night, Johnson canned the canard.

"There's a rumor going around on social media that the City of Casper is banning pit bulls," he said.

"There was even protest marches organized and everything else," Johnson said.

"So I just want to say that we are not interested in banning any specific breed of dog; that was never a conversation we had," he said. "I think there was a misinterpretation of a news article that came out from a citizen that spoke at the last meeting."

Last week, Hubert Townsend, accompanied by his wife, told the council about an incident in which he was training his leashed dog and a pit bull jumped a fence and attacked his dog.

Irresponsible owners who allow that to happen to other dogs or people shouldn't have dogs, Townsend said, singling out pit bulls.

"I hate pit bulls," he said. "They were bred to kill."

Despite people saying they are wonderful a family dogs, Townsend suggested mandated registration for them, increased fees, and grandfather pit bulls already owned into the existing animal code.

The city then should ban pit bulls, he said.

"After that, no more in this town," Townsend said. "I'm tired of being responsible for irresponsible owners that affect me."

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