Pit Bulls Legal Again In SW Kansas’ Seward County

Posted: 9:41 PM Jul 8, 2011

Pit Bulls Legal Again In SW Kansas’ Seward County
Seward County commissioners this week approved a pair of resolutions, one addressing pit bulls and the other a general category of vicious dogs.
Reporter: AP

LIBERAL, Kan. (AP) A southwestern Kansas county has lifted a longstanding ban on pit bulls, but owners will have to check in with the sheriff’s department.

Seward County commissioners this week approved a pair of resolutions, one addressing pit bulls and the other a general category of vicious dogs.

The commission had voted earlier this year to repeal a ban on pit bulls adopted in the early 1990s. The panel considered several modifications this week, including reinstatement of the ban. But some members said outlawing the dogs merely drives owners to keep them out of sight, possibly denying them veterinary care.

The High Plains Daily Leader reports the new rules require owners to register their pit bulls, get them implanted with microchips and put their photos on file with the sheriff’s department.

Seward County reinstates BSL

Seward County, Kansas takes a step back in the wrong direction……

Posted on July 6, 2011 by Bless the Bullys|

I just spoke with the Seward County clerk with respect to last night’s Board of Commissioner’s meeting. Under consideration by the County Commission were the following:

Option A: an ordinance that allows, but regulates the ownership of, pit bulls;
Option B: an ordinance addressing all vicious dogs, regardless of breed; and
Option C: reinstatement of the a total ban of pit bulls.

The Board passed 2 resolutions last night.

After repealing BSL this spring, the Board chose Options A – to allow pit bulls in the county but under strict regulations. In essence, reinstating BSL.

The second resolution passed was Option B, an ordinance that would address all vicious dogs, regardless of breed. Obviously, Option B, which designates any dog as dangerous based on its behavior rather than its breed, would serve the community well on its own. Unfortunately, the Board felt the need to address “pit bulls” individually, thus implying, at least to me, that they have little faith in the ability of their animal control officers to effectively carry out the law.

The resolutions have not been signed and will not become formal until that time. The Chairman is on vacation and, as such, both resolutions will likely be signed next week.

Jasper, AL Discusses New Animal Control Ordinance

A new animal control ordinance was discussed at the Jasper City Countil meeting in Jasper, Alabama June 2nd. Fortunately, the town did not turn to breed-specific legislation to deal with their animal control issues. One resident pushing for this law found false information on a website and tried to present this misleading information as fact. Here’s what Brent Toellner from KC Dog Blog had to say about this:

Jasper, AL is going to pass a new dangerous dog ordinance — and even though a couple of residents want it to be breed-specific, it won’t be. This is good news of course, as breed-specific laws are not effective — and it’s good that Jasper is following what most cities have done when looking at the subject objectively and not passed BSL. The other part of this story is that the resident pushing for this used dogsbite.org a a source — which then caused them to get all confused about reality and tried to note that 40 states have breed-specific laws. The real number here is 1 — not 40, and 14 states have laws that PROHIBIT breed specific laws. But hey, don’t let reality get in the way of a good opinion.

Read the full story here

Topeka Approves Animal Ordinance

By Tim Hrenchir – Sep 28, 2010

Topeka’s governing body decided without objection Tuesday evening to make changes to city rules for stray cats and dangerous dogs that supporters described as being groundbreaking and progressive.

Mayor Bill Bunten and eight city council members voted 9-0, with Councilman John Alcala being absent because of back problems, to pass a 39-page ordinance amending rules regarding animal control and animal cruelty to enhance public safety, protect animals and save taxpayer dollars.

The ordinance does away with the city’s breed-specific rules requiring owners to obtain special licenses and to implant microchips in any dogs that have the appearance and characteristics of being predominantly of any of three types of pit bull dog.

It also allows feral cats to roam free, provided local volunteers have had them vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and an ear cropped for identification. The change was promoted as being a more humane alternative to current practices, which generally result in stray cats being euthanized after being picked up by city animal control officers.

The ordinance was crafted through a team effort involving Councilwoman Karen Hiller, city staff members and a committee of eight citizens who have an interest in animal-related matters. Committee members were among nine people who spoke before the council about the proposal Tuesday, with each expressing support for it.

“This is a groundbreaking ordinance, and it’s going to revolutionize animal welfare in the city of Topeka,” said committee member Mike Bauman, president of the Friends of Hill’s Bark Park organization.

The committee also included University of Kansas law student Katie Bray Barnett, whom Hiller said is nationally recognized as an expert on animal control legislation. Barnett, a graduate of Topeka West High School, said the ordinance before the governing body Tuesday had garnered national attention and was being considered as a potential model ordinance by officials in Ellis, Kan.; Ogden, Utah; Toledo, Ohio; and Douglasville, Ga. Councilwoman Sylvia Ortiz said she had been contacted by a Denver City Council member about the ordinance.

Ruth Tessendorf, president of the Topeka Kennel Club, told governing body members Tuesday’s vote was also being watched by a boxer dog group, which was considering holding a show next year at the Kansas Expocentre but wouldn’t be willing to do that if the city kept in place its breed-specific rules for pit bulls.

The passage of Tuesday’s ordinance overturns rules banning the ownership, keeping or harboring of pit bulls that haven’t been licensed with the city and implanted with a microchip. The city had been requiring itself to confine dogs suspects of being pit bulls until any charges against their owners are resolved in Topeka Municipal Court. Assistant city attorney Kyle Smith estimated the passage of Tuesday’s ordinance would save the city $30,000 a year it spends to confine suspected pit bulls at the Helping Hands Humane Society.

The ordinance also changes city cat licensing rules to make it clear that licenses aren’t required for feral cats that show a straight-line cutting of the tip of their left ear to show they have been spayed or neutered and vaccinated.

Smith said the ordinance sanctions a process used successfully in other communities where volunteer groups — not at taxpayer expense — trap feral cats, spay or neuter and vaccinate them, then release them in their original locations after cropping an ear to identify them.

Tuesday’s speakers included Carol Westerdale, founder and director of Save Our Shelter Animals, who said her nonprofit group has operated a trap-neuter-return program for feral cats here since last year and recently received a $10,000 grant from Petco.

The ordinance approved Tuesday also replaces the city’s vicious animals ordinance with a similar but broader “dangerous dogs” ordinance regarding dogs that have shown inappropriate aggressive behavior.

It replaces city rules that allowed for dogs to be tethered outdoors for as long as an hour at a time and as much as three hours a day by allowing dog owners unlimited supervised tethering but reducing unsupervised tethering of dogs to 15 minutes

Ortiz voted in favor of the ordinance Tuesday after she voted against recommending its passage at a Sept. 21 meeting of the council’s public health and safety committee.

Ortiz said Tuesday she hadn’t been willing to support the ordinance at that time because some of her questions about it hadn’t been answered, but she felt comfortable supporting the ordinance after those questions were answered.

The measure approved Tuesday makes no changes to licensing fees for cats and dogs.

Tim Hrenchir can be reached at (785) 295-1184 or tim.hrenchir@cjonline.com.

Special thanks to Katie Bray Barnett of Game Dog Guardian for were dedication and commitment to this ordinance, and to Michelle Davis of Kansas City Dog Advocates, for her support.