Feb 10, 2020 11:00 AM

Local group calls for lifting of the pit bull ban

Posted Feb 10, 2020 11:00 AM
Photo by Lucas Ludwig on Unsplash
Photo by Lucas Ludwig on Unsplash

Supporters of lifting the pit bull dog ban in Junction City pleaded their case to the Junction City Commission this past week.

Kim Bradney of Legalize Bully JC said they're asking that the ban be repealed. "Singling out residents by the type of dog they own is a flawed strategy that hurts the families who live them. Often they are forced to choose between keeping their beloved family member or staying in their home and community."

Bradney stated in many cases it has caused families to decide to live in Manhattan or other surrounding communities with a friendlier pit bull policy. She noted that the animal shelter is flooded with dogs who not adoptable because of the "city's ban on pit bull looking dogs."  She added that action to bar pit bulls from Junction City was put in place in 1997.

Bradney explained other cities are repealing the ban that they put in place in the 90's because they are not effective. Nine other speakers also spoke to the city commission in support of repealing the ban. Some of the cities that have removed pit bull bans range from Prairie Village and Bonner Springs to Kansas City and Garden City. Fifteen different cities were cited for having taken that action during the commission meeting.

The President of Friends of Animals Linnea Alt informed the governing body that the animal shelter is inundated, rescues sites are overflowing and a lot of families are willing to adopt the dogs.

Other speakers spoke in favor of a vicious dog ordinance where dogs could be dealt with on an individual basis to repealing the pit bull ban in favor of replacing it with breed neutral legislation.

Some members of the commission expressed support for revisiting the existing ordinance at a future meeting. Commissioner Ronna Larson asked city staff to check into difference ordinance options. "I stand by what I spoke about at the forums. I'd like to see how we can make that ordinance changed. "

Commissioner Nate Butler said he thought it was a good idea to look at the ordinance, "and begin to formulate an ordinance to possibly repeal the ban." Butler indicated he was initially against lifting it but after doing some research and having a conversation with his brother, who is the sergeant of the Drug Task Force in Indianapolis, it began to change his mind on the issue. 

Mayor Jeff Underhill has asked for numbers from the animal shelter on the number of dogs housed there and the costs. City Manager Allen Dinkel and staff will prepare information for the governing body to review.