Boonville, Missouri Overturns BSL After 18 Years

    • Mayor breaks tie on new dangerous dog ordinance

  • Boonville Mayor Julie Thacher’s vote broke the tie (four to four) to ultimately approve the new dangerous dog ordinance, which releases a ban on pit bulls in Boonville.
    • By Edward Lang, Managing Editor
    • Posted Jul. 21, 2015 at 12:01 AM
      Updated Jul 21, 2015 at 10:51 AM

Boonville Mayor Julie Thacher’s vote broke the tie (four to four) to ultimately approve the new dangerous dog ordinance, which releases a ban on pit bulls in Boonville.Several individuals who were in favor of the removal of breed specific legislation told the council reasons for this favor at the council meeting Monday evening. Individuals representing the Great Plains SPCA said they were asked to come to support local animal advocates. They also said they believe that environment rather than breed is a factor in behavior development.Boonville resident Mike Kelley said he wanted the council to keep the ban on pit bulls, which he believed would be the right thing to do.

An amendment by Boonville Ward Four Councilman Mark Livingston added that any animal taken from the owner could be given to a non-for-profit state licensed rescue organization. He also added language that prohibited any dog that showed signs of aggressive behavior towards a human or a domesticated animal. The amendment passed, seven to one (Boonville Ward Four Councilman Henry Hurt voted against).

“I don’t normally get calls, but I have gotten calls about this subject. People want us to keep pit bulls out of Boonville,” Hurt said. “I know there are people who have pit bulls in town. I see them all the time. If these people are not going to do what is legal now, are they going to do what is legal when we say it is okay for them to have these dogs?”

After a failed attempt to re-insititue the pit bull ban into the ordinance by Boonville Ward One Councilman Steve Young, the ordinance went for a final council vote.

Boonville Ward Two Councilwoman Vanessa Dorman, Boonville Ward One Councilwoman Kari Evans, Young and Hurt voted against.

Boonville Ward Two Councilwoman Susan Meadows, Boonville Ward Three Councilman Ned Beach, Boonville Ward Four Councilman Mark Livingston and Boonville Ward Three Councilwoman Becky Ehlers voted in favor of the ordinance.

The tie was broken by Thacher as she voted in favor of the ordinance.

The ordinance, according to city officials, holds the dog owner more accountable than previously. A new tethered law is also enacted, which states a dog cannot be on a tether for more than 11 hours.

Animal advocates from the SPCA and other organizations believe this new ordinance will make it more manageable for Boonville Animal Control Officer Pam Paxton.

The council also voted to approve the new animal control administrative fees.

The new ordinance defines a vicious dog as any animal that has caused death or serious injury to a person. It is also defined because of size, physical characteristics  and vicious propensities of being capable of inflicting serious physical injury. Animals that have been trained to fight or is kept for the purpose of fighting are also prohibited.  The complete ordinance can be reviewed by picking up a copy at Boonville City Hall on Main Street.