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Independence to consider lifting pit bull ban

Posted: 12:11 PM, Nov 06, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-06 18:25:54-05
WyCo pit bull ban

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Pit bulls are a dog breed that is banned in many cities across the U.S., but soon that may no longer be the case in Independence.

"Anytime you come in, there are a lot of bully breeds looking for homes at KC Pet Project," KC Pet Project Chief Communications Officer Tori Fuguate said.

Pit bulls have been banned in Independence since 2006, which Fugate said makes things difficult for shelters.

"They have to depend on people outside of Independence to come in and adopt those pets as well as rescues pulling them," she said. "I can tell you it can take a really long time for those pets to find homes."

During the last six months, many suburbs have started to reverse ordinances that forbid pit-bull ownership.

Liberty changed its stance on pit bulls in April and Kansas City, Kansas, overturned its ban in May.

Shelters see this as a major milestone.

"It means there are more homes for our pets to go home to with new families," Fugate said.

So, why is Independence revisiting its pit-bull ban now?

"There was an issue on the ballet to provide additional funding to our animal shelters and hire some more police officers, and the animal welfare activists that were involved in that issue, they were very engaging looking at the pit-bull issue in Independence," Jason White, chairman of the sub-committee exploring the possible ordinance change, said.

White said they want to figure out how to make their city better and that involves people's pets.

"There are certainly folks with opinions on the matter in both directions, so this came about because of a public initiative and so you really want to invite the public to engage," White said.

A joint subcommittee of the Independence Advisory Board of Health and the Animal Welfare Committee have a public hearing on the issue scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Independence Utilities Center.

The public is invited to attend. Speakers will be limited to three minutes.

No final decision from the Independence City Council is expected for several weeks or perhaps even months.