Roeland Park considers lifting pit bull ban

ROELAND PARK, KS (KCTV) – September 23, 2014

The city of Roeland Park is considering becoming the latest area municipality to lift its pit bull ban. Some council members believe it makes more sense to have a ban on dangerous animals rather than a breed specific ban.

In January, Bonner Springs lifted its pit bull ban. Kansas City allows pit bulls, but they have to be spayed or neutered. Independence and Kansas City, KS ban the dogs. Kellie Maschmeyer hopes Roeland Park joins the effort to outlaw the bans. She had to give up her 4-year-old dog, Chloe, when she moved to Roeland Park in February because of the pit bull ban. “I was horrified because we had been looking at other places to live and most of them don’t have the pit ban,” she said. “(Giving up Chloe) was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.” Maschmeyer, who had owned Chloe since she was 11 weeks old, said pit bull owners are not a danger to society and deserve to have their dogs. She said she’s been bitten by a boxer and border collie.

Councilwoman Jennifer Gunby proposed lifting the breed specific restriction, which has been on the books since the late 1980s.

Michael Berney, who owns a golden retriever and a lab, supports the ordinance change. He said it’s more important to focus on specific dogs with issues rather than a specific breed. “I think when you pick on one breed it’s going to make their image look a lot worse,” Berney said. “If you raise them mean, they’ll be mean no matter what kind of breed they are.”

Opponents of the ban say even little dogs can be dangerous.

A council committee could discuss the change on Oct. 6 and then the council vote the following week. The proposal includes other changes to the city’s regulations of dogs and would adopt feral cat language. Currently, anyone in Roeland Park with an American pit bull, American Staffordshire terrier or Staffordshire bull terrier face a fine of $200 to $500 and up to 30 days in jail. Each day is considered a separate violation. The city will also impound any pit bulls.

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Additional links:

Bonner Springs reviewing ordinance after family dog seized
Bonner Springs lifts ban
Wellsville considers lifting ban