According to an article in today’s GB Tribune, the mayor of Great Bend, Kansas has selected members for a committee charged with “studying the banning of pit bull dogs within the city limits.” This report conflicts with information I received from the Great Bend city clerk who advised me on May 22 that a committee was, in fact, being formed, but that committee was tasked with researching breed-neutral measures to address the city’s animal control concerns.
This issue was brought before the council earlier this month when George and Zola Weber asked the city to ban “pit bulls” because they feel their children are in danger from their next-door neighbor’s dogs. However, it was noted during the May 20 council meeting that the city already has ordinances in place to control vicious animals, and that perhaps these needed more force and better enforcement, which concurs with the information I received from the city clerk.
City attorney, Bob Suelter, has been nominated to chair the committee, and city councilmen Joel Jackson and Edwin Roberts were selected as committee members, along with 5 members of the community, and the police chief. The committee will study the issue and report back to the city council at a future city council meeting. Mr. Suelter will announce the date and time for the first committee meeting.
The mayor is encouraging the community be involved with, and offer suggestions for, the committee to consider and discuss. All meetings of the committee will be open to the public.
This issue will not be discussed at the city council meeting on Monday, June 3, 2013, however, you can use the “Recognition of Visitors and Announcements” segment to encourage the city council to strengthen and enforce their current dangerous dog ordinance in order to create a safer community that benefits both people and animals.
In the meantime, please send your polite and respectful opposition to breed specific legislation to the Great Bend officials, as well as viable alternatives and suggestions for their consideration. We also recommend providing a copy of the NAIA publication, “A Guide to Constructing Successful, Pet Friendly ordinances.” The guide has some excellent points that would help strengthen and improve the city’s current ordinance.
Talking points and alternatives to breed specific legislation can be found here.
Contact information for the mayor and individual council and committee members is not available, but you may send your correspondence, with a polite request to forward to each member of the committee, to the City Administrator, Howard Partington, or his assistant, Megan Cates.
City of Great Bend
1209 Williams Street
Great Bend, KS 67530
City Administrator Howard Partington
(assistant to the Administrator)