Kansas City Suburb Becomes Latest to Repeal Pit Bull Ban

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
April 7, 2019US News
Kansas City Suburb Becomes Latest to Repeal Pit Bull Ban
Stock photo of a juvenile pitbull. (Lucas Ludwig/Unsplash)

LIBERTY, Missouri—The Kansas City suburb of Liberty has become the latest in Missouri to repeal its ban on pit bulls as attitudes against the dogs soften.

KCUR-FM reports that voters decided Tuesday to ditch the prohibition that had been on the books for three decades.

About two dozen other Missouri cities also have repealed their bans.

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Before revoking on the bans, Missouri and Kansas had the highest rate in the country, with about 180 cities having pit bulls banned in both counties.

“But as major animal rights groups like the ASPCA has begun fighting the bans alongside smaller organizations, repeals have become more common, both nationally and locally. By now, 23 cities in Missouri and 26 cities in Kansas have repealed their bans,” according to a KCUR-FM report.

Backers of bans said pit bulls are bred to be dangerous, but repeal advocates argue that the restrictions are outdated and arbitrary.

“There are lots of non-pitbull dog attacks, but they don’t usually get the coverage that pit bulls do,” said Kansas Citian and director of the Best Friends Animal Society, Brent Toellner.

A pllit bull
A stock photo shows a pit bull. (Stock photo of pit bull/CC0)

The Liberty Pitbull Alliance began lobbying city council three years ago to repeal the ban.

Member Jessica McKinney said, “The science and all the studies show that pit bulls are not the monstrous breed that has been portrayed by some of the media.”

“Most Abused Dogs on Earth”

Animal rights group PETA has said that pit bulls are “the most abused dogs on Earth.”

“Pit bulls are left at shelters in record numbers—and since they are difficult to adopt out, reputable shelters (that don’t slam the door in the dogs’ faces) are finding that they must euthanize more pit bulls and pit bull mixes than all other dogs combined,” the group said.

Karen Delise, research director for the National Canine Research Council and author of “The Pitbull Placebo,” has investigated hundreds of dog bite incidents.

A pit bull
A stock photo of a pit bull at a shelter. (holly Kellum/NTD News)

She wrote in a now-taken down article: “My study of dog bite-related fatalities occurring over the past five decades has identified the poor ownership/management practices involved in the overwhelming majority of these incidents: owners obtaining dogs, and maintaining them as resident dogs outside of regular, positive human interaction, often for negative functions (i.e. guarding/protection, fighting, intimidation/status).”

Also contributing negative functions include “owners failing to humanely contain, control, and maintain their dogs (chained dogs, loose roaming dogs, cases of abuse/neglect); owners failing to knowledgably supervise interaction between children and dogs; and owners failing to spay or neuter dogs not used for competition, show, or in a responsible breeding program,” she added.

Pit Bulls

Pit bulls, and any dog deemed to look like one despite not having any pit-bull DNA, are the most prevalent in shelters (pdf).

Dogs labeled as “pit bulls” spend more than three times longer in a shelter than similar-looking dogs not deemed pit bulls, reports the Washington Post.

Many are among the 670,000 dogs euthanized each year, according to the ASPCA.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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