Chesterfield, MO: First reading to repeal BSL passed

The city of Chesterfield, Missouri has passed the first reading of an amendment to the city’s dangerous dog ordinance. All the articles I’ve read about Chesterfield are focused on pit bulls being allowed in the dog park, but a few seemed to indicate the breed specific language in the city’s ordinance being removed. I contacted the city, and received a response from the police chief who confirmed the city is indeed moving ahead with repealing their breed specific ordinance.

The current ordinance labels any dog that is mixture of bull terrier to automatically be deemed “dangerous,” requiring the animal to be registered with the city and be leashed and muzzled when in public.

Chesterfield City Manager Michael Herring suggested the change to the ordinance be reviewed by the city staff and the Chesterfield Police Department. The consensus was that experts in the field feel the breed is as safe as any other. Herring acknowledged that there is a body of evidence that seems to point the city should move in a breed-neutral direction, and he supports repealing BSL.

The first reading of the amendment passed 7-1, with opposition coming from Councilman Mike Casey and Mayor Bruce Geiger (a non-voting member of the council in most situations). An issue of contention, especially for Councilman Casey, appears to be the Chesterfield dog park, and removing the breed specific language from the city’s ordinance would allow “pit bulls” into the dog park.

The city council meets tomorrow afternoon (Monday, December 3). The agenda is not available online, but residents are encouraged to attend to show support for the council’s move to repeal the city’s breed specific ordinance. In addition, residents are urged to reach out to their elected officials and thank them for considering repeal and ask them to pass the amendment.

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