Cherokee County considers updating its pit bull ban

a pit bull plays while waiting to be adopted

Owning a pit bull has been against the law in Cherokee County for almost 30 years, but county commissioners are considering modifying the ban after hearing various opinions around the county.

They reached out to Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves whose department is in charge of the ban’s enforcement.

“From the perspective of public safety, I support leaving the ban in place. But we do need to modify that ’92 resolution to properly guide law enforcement’s activities regarding those banned pit bulls,” said Sheriff Groves.

Groves says he supports the ban because he has concerns about child safety.

“My concern is, we have several day cares that are in unincorporated areas of the county that do not have animal control protections,” said Sheriff Groves.

And as for those modifications to the ban, Groves would like to see an official veterinarian put in place to determine if breeds in question are actually pit bulls. He’d also like to see the county set up an official pound where the confiscated dogs can be safely kept until the situation with the owner is resolved.

“Without a county dog pound or facility to take these dogs, we really were at the mercy of our partners with Columbus police department and the Baxter Springs police department,” said Sheriff Groves.

But not everyone in the 4-state area supports the pit bull ban, also known as “breed specific legislation.” That includes the SEK Humane Society.

“Breed specific legislation like pit bulls for example. When these owners have these animals, they hide them. They go into garages. They go downstairs. They’re becoming desocialized, and now you’re creating a danger situation because now they can’t even get medical help, get vaccines, be spayed and neutered,” said Jasmine Kyle, the business and promotions manager for the SEK Humane Society.

The SEK Humane Society says that instead of banning breeds, communities need to come up with laws and ordinances for specific breeds and their owners.

“Cities are updating their BSLs to have all dogs spayed and neutered, specific breeds being microchipped, some have certain amounts of a breed per household, and that is such a big improvement. We’re excited to have that,” said Kyle.

The Cherokee County commissioners have not yet announced when they will be voting on potential changes to the pit bull ban but say it will happen in the near future.