Breed specific legislation still on the books in Springfield

By  | 

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Pit bull restrictions will continue in Springfield, for now.

This topic has been debated for at least a year. Some say certain breeds of dogs are inherently vicious, making them a danger to the community. Others say there are no bad dogs, just bad dog owners.

Dozens of people, who wanted the breed specific legislation lifted, showed their disappointment after the vote.

Some council members explained their reasons for the delay.

"I haven't made up my mind yet but if we vote today I will vote to keep the breed specific legislation," says Craig Fishel.

Phyllis Ferguson says, "I have to represent the people of zone one and I don't feel I'm ready to do that until I have more information in terms of where they're at on this."

Those dedicated to lifting the ban feel their voices aren't being heard.

"My representative doesn't seem to care what his constitutes think so I'm disappointed in him as well," Leigh Sterten.

This issue has also received national attention.

The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council based in Virginia contacted us to weigh in. They are a legislative and regulations association for the pet industry as well as animal and environmental advocates. They monitor proposed legislation aimed at repealing breed specific bans on both the local and state levels.

"Any animal can be dangerous. The important thing is making sure we work and that cities and jurisdictions across the country work to encourage education and enforcement that's based on actual demonstrated danger," says Mike Bober with PIJAC.

This echoes one council member's reason for bringing the matter to a vote.

Kristi Fulnecky says, "I think, for public safety, we need to focus on irresponsible dog ownership and go that route. Instead of this Rottweiler, this German Shepard. It doesn't make any sense."

Despite the delay, those who support lifting the ban aren't giving up.

"We're going to continue to fight and continue to speak for these animals who can't speak for themselves unfortunately," says Sterten.

If the breed specific legislation ever gets lifted the city still has the vicious animal ordinance in place. This will continue to keep the community safe.

Council will consider a vote to repeal the breed specific legislation ban in 90 days.