ASPCA Commends Overland Park City Council for Overturning Pit Bull BanCity Council rejects outdated, discriminatory dog breed ban that has been in place for more than 30 years
OVERLAND PARK, KS – The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) commends the Overland Park City Council for voting to overturn the city’s discriminatory pit bull ban, which has been in place for several decades, and opting to replace it with a behavior-based dangerous dog law. This harmful ban has prevented pets from finding good homes by imposing a fine of up to $1,000 for anyone convicted of violating the law, as well as ordering removal of the dog from the city. Additionally, the court could sentence the defendant to up to 30 days in jail.
"Breed bans discriminate against innocent dogs based solely on their breed – or even just their appearance – rather than judging them on their behavior, and threaten to separate beloved pets from their families,” said Andy Briscoe, director of state legislation for the ASPCA, Central region. “We are grateful to Councilmembers Holly Grummert and Paul Lyons for championing this long overdue repeal, and we thank the City Council for taking a stand against this cruel, discriminatory law by rejecting efforts that infringe upon the rights of responsible pet owners.”
The stated purpose of breed-specific legislation (BSL) is to reduce dog bites and attacks, and while many municipalities have passed these laws, there is no evidence that they make communities safer for people or companion animals—in fact, they often compromise public safety.
BSL shifts focus away from effective enforcement of laws that have the best chances of making communities safer. Responsible owners of entirely friendly, properly supervised and well-socialized dogs should not be penalized simply because their dog happens to resemble a specific breed.
“Every dog is unique, even dogs within the same breed,” said Briscoe. “Treating dogs as individuals, providing them with the care, training, and supervision they require, and judging them by their behavior and not by their physical appearance, is the most effective way to ensure that dogs and people can continue to share safe and happy lives together."
The ASPCA recommends communities enact strategic 'dangerous dog laws' that address individual animals, not blanket breed bans. In recent years, the trend around the country has been to overturn these discriminatory breed bans, with Kansans leading the way. Localities including Junction City, Fort Scott, Prairie Village, Paola, Andover and most recently, Liberal, have all repealed their breed bans, allowing once-endangered dogs to find new, loving homes and keeping people and their pets together. At the state level, the ASPCA is working with Missouri lawmakers to pass legislation that would prohibit BSL statewide.
For more information about the ASPCA or to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, please visit www.aspca.org.