A task force has been formed to evaluate Springfield Missouri’s dangerous dog laws. The task force, which is made up of a variety of citizens in Springfield, is looking at creating a breed neutral law.
Springfield passed restrictions on pit bull type dogs in 2006.
- Owners must register pit bulls with Springfield Animal Control. Registration will take place at the animal shelter by appointment only.
- At the time of registration, owners must provide proof of rabies vaccination for the pit bull.
- Owners must also pay an annual registration fee of $50 for each pit bull.
- Owners must have a microchip inserted under the dog’s skin. This service can be provided by Animal Shelter staff at time of registration and is included in the $50 registration fee. Alternatively, owners can have the procedure done at a veterinarian’s office and provide written proof to Animal Shelter staff at time of registration.
- Owners must ensure the dog is spayed or neutered, unless it is AKC or UKC registered and actively competing.
- Owners must keep the dog in a secured enclosure while on the owner’s property. (See definition in City Code section 18-7)
- Owners must post a sign at least 8″x10″ stating “Pit Bull Dog” at each entrance to the owner’s property.
- Owners must keep the pit bull leashed and muzzled while not on the owner’s property.
- Owners must notify staff of the City Manager or his authorized representative within 5 days if the pit bull is lost, stolen, dies or has puppies.
- New litters of puppies must be removed from city limits or taken to the Springfield Animal Shelter unless they are registered according to the guidelines listed above.
One of the striking things about the conversation that has happened in Springfield, since the ordinances inception, is how officials have called it a success. Indeed, even in this news report about the repeal, officials cite its success. The truth behind these statements has been rather eloquently addressed already by Brent Toellner, KC Dog Blog, in his post “Defining ‘Working‘–Springfield Missouri Edition.”
Mary Collette, one of the members of the task force said, “Perhaps not looking at having our ordinance be breed-specific in any way, but we could have it be vicious animal specific which is really what we are trying to get at anyway. That is really how you are going to reduce the bites and damage…We’re hoping we can bring our ordinances in line with what is a little more progressive and actually more productive in curbing animal attacks and bites.”
When the task force comes back with their conclusions we will update accordingly. As of right now this is still in the information gathering stages.