Officials in Dodge City Kansas voted to alter their ban on pit bull type dogs this past week.
As a result, pit bull type dogs are no longer banned in Dodge City. In its place, owners of pit bull type dogs must meet strict requirements in order to own a dog that physically meets the criteria set out in their ordinance.
Owners of pit bull type dogs are required to do the following:
-a special annual permit at a fee of $50,
-a leash requirement when outside of a pen,
-indoor and outdoor confinement stipulations,
-“beware of dog” signs posted at the residence,
-a special collar issued by the city,
-public liability insurance in a single incident amount of no less than $100,000.
Pit bull owners who fail to comply with the ordinance can be punished by a fine of $2,500 or a year in jail. Each day the violation of the ordinance continues constitutes a separate offense ( Full story)
It is important to point out that the same problems identifying dogs when the ban was in place will continue with these restrictions. The resident who asked that the ban be evaluated did so because her dog was deemed to be enough of a pit bull type to be illegal. This change in the law will not stop the targeting of well-behaved dogs. Any breed discriminatory measure is arbitrary in enforcement and takes valuable financial resources away from animal control.
The changes in the law that will help keep the public safer is the more general breed neutral ordinance that was also passed at the same time. This ordinance targets dogs that, based on their behavior, pose a threat to the public and sets out clear guidelines for dealing with those animals.
Though it would have been ideal for the strong breed neutral law take the bans place entirely, it is a step in the right direction for Dodge City. We will have to wait to see how things continue to develop as the breed discriminatory restrictions continue to siphon money away from proper enforcement of more effective laws.