A family in Troy, Missouri is fighting to keep their pit bull after they were told by police that they had to “get rid of” him because the municipal code prohibits “pit bulls” from residing in the city. The Frank family received a notice from Troy police on Thursday that they had 10 days to remove the dog from the city or risk facing further consequences.
The Franks got their dog, Moby, several years ago, and they say he helps their son, Logan, deal with autism. They even have a letter from their son’s autism specialist that supports their claim.
Section 205.065 of the Troy city code states as follows:
It shall be unlawful to keep, harbor, own or in any way possess within the corporate limits of the City of Troy, Missouri, any pit bull dog, provided that pit bull dogs residing in the City on the effective date of this Section may be kept within the City subject to the standards and requirements herein set forth.
The ordinance defines a “Pit bull dog” as:
1. Staffordshire bull terrier breed of dog;
2. The American pit bull terrier breed of dog;
3. The American Staffordshire terrier breed of dog;
4. Any mixed breed of dog which contains as an element of its breeding the breed of Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier or American pit bull terrier as to be identifiable as partially of the breed of Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier or American pit bull terrier.
5. Any dog which has the appearance and characteristics of being predominantly of the breeds of Staffordshire bull terrier, American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier and other breed commonly known as pit bulls, pit bull dogs or pit bull terriers or a combination of any of these breeds.
The Franks think the city’s ordinance is unfair and discriminatory. They believe dogs are a product of their environment and upbringing, and no breed of dog should be banned.
A city alderman told the news outlet covering the story that the Franks could reach out to the board at its next meeting to see if they were eligible for a “variance,” an official order that would let them keep their dog.
A board meeting is scheduled for tonight, Monday, August 4.
In the summer of 2012, Troy residents asked the Board of Aldermen to repeal their breed specific ordinance and enact a breed-neutral law that focuses on reckless and irresponsible dog owners. Advocates presented facts, statistics, and excellent arguments in support of their request. Unfortunately, the Board voted to keep the breed specific ordinance in place. Councilwoman Lisa Anderson was the only member to vote in favor of repeal, and Ms. Anderson is still on the Board.
If you live in or around Troy, please try to attend the Board of Aldermen meeting to show your support for the Frank family and, hopefully, rekindle talks of repealing a discriminatory law that penalizes responsible dog owners for nothing other than the appearance of their dog. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.