SEK Humane Society pushes for Pittsburg to remove pit bull ban

Officials presented during Tuesday meeting
SEK Humane Society pushes for Pittsburg to remove pit bull ban
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Nova, a female pit bull, has been leaving her mark on everyone at the SEK Humane Society.

Jasmine Kyle, SEK Humane Society:”She will be in your arms. [Pit bulls] will hold you. They are sweet little baby dolls.”

But, a ban on her breed in Pittsburg is why she’s been at the shelter for more than two years.

Kyle:”Just a few weeks ago, a family had moved in, and they fell in love with Nova. And they left crying because they had found out they didn’t know that they couldn’t even have pit bulls in the city.”

Jay Byers with the city says the ban deals with “terrier groups”.. which includes bull terriers.. pit bulls.. and any dog that has those characteristics. And has been in place since 1986.

Jay Byers, City of Pittsburg:”just in a reaction to statistics or the things that we saw coming up. the vast majority of injuries that we saw in town were related to that breed group, and there was a big public outcry about it.”

But Kyle says the legislation is out of date, pointing to shifts in statistics and perceptions.

Kyle:”The National American Veterinarian Association actually released a study just in 2013, in dog bite cases, they judge those cases on occurring factors, and breed is not one of them.”

That’s part of why the humane society asked the city to remove their ban on the breed at the most recent commission meeting.

Byers says that he and the chief of police are going to look at numbers and statistics to see if updating the code might be possible. But, adds it’s a very emotional issue for people on both sides of the aisle.

Byers:”We are certainly open to alternatives because I think most of us love dogs and appreciate them, but it is something that we can’t ignore.”

An openness that Kyle is taking as a step in the right direction.

Kyle:”That is the most success we’ve ever gotten. So, in the next few weeks, I am going to get do my part in emailing them and getting them anything they need.”

All to help pits like Nova be more accepted in Pitt.

Kyle says there’s also a house bill in Missouri that would ban breed specific legislation (BSL) — like the ordinance in Pittsburg — from all cities in Missouri.