We learned on May 1, 2013, that officials in Osawatomie, Kansas were considering repealing the city’s 20+ year old pit bull ban. A new proposal brought before the city council on May 9 would lift the ban on pit bull terriers, and deem dogs vicious based on their behavior, not their breed. The ordinance would also focus on irresponsible and reckless dog owners. Another big change contained in the proposal is a strict anti-tethering provision that would prohibit dogs from being chained or tied outside for long periods of time. The proposal sets forth significant fines and penalties against irresponsible dog ownership that are aimed at making dog owners more accountable.
The proposed changes were brought to the council by City Councilwomen Tamara Maichel and Karen LaDuex, who were appointed at the council’s April 25, 2013 meeting to study the city’s pit bull ban and other animal control issues.
At that meeting, a panel of dog experts presented information on behalf of the councilwomen and Osawatomie dog owner, Malcolm Davis, who was forced to rehome his boxer-mix dog, Kai, because she was identified as a “pit bull” under the city’s current law. If you recall, DNA testing reflected that Kai was 17% pit bull terrier.
The experts brought statistics and information showing pit bulls have received biased media attention, and that other cities across the state have already repealed breed-specific ordinances and implemented anti-tethering laws in their place.
Instead of updating individual sections of the city’s animal control ordinance over a prolonged period of time, the council agreed to look at a complete revamp of the laws now. Officials thoroughly reviewed the ordinances of other Kansas cities, and checked various issues with the city police department, as well.
According to the city manager, the city plans to ease into the new laws (once approved), first informing and educating residents about all the changes.
Just to reiterate our previous blog, because residents, local animal welfare advocates, and city officials are working extremely well together on this issue, outside intervention is not necessary at this time. Certainly if you live in the area, I would encourage you to reach out to your city officials and let them know you support the move to update their animal control ordinance and repeal the two-decades old breed specific provisions contained therein.
May 1, 2013 alert for Osawatomie, Kansas: