The committee charged with studying banning or regulating dogs in Great Bend, Kansas will not recommend moving forward with a breed specific ordinance. The committee was formed after a husband and wife approached the city council in May and requested pit bulls be banned because they “feel threatened” by their neighbor’s pit bulls. The committee’s recommendations on an animal control ordinance will likely be addressed by the full Council sometime in August.
At their meeting on July 10, it was the feeling of the committee’s majority that a breed specific ordinance was not the answer. Most of the committee members also agreed that steps need to be taken to address and control irresponsible dog owners.
In light of this, talks moved to controlling of loose and stray dogs. Among the ideas were increased fines, tightened ordinances on what constitutes adequate confinement (including fencing, tethering and dog houses), and better enforcement of existing regulations.
Another option was a more proactive approach which would allow residents to report a dog they feel is vicious, but has not attacked. Authorities would then visit with the owner and check on the animal, making an on-site evaluation. This could stop some problems before they occur.
A report that includes all the suggestions made during the meeting will be compiled and serve as a starting point for this week’s meeting and the foundation of what the committee will present to the Council. Fortunately, it appears that breed specific language will not be receommended in the committee’s report.