As I noted in a post from December 2013, Garden City, Kansas is considering an amendment to its 2002 “pit bull” ordinance that will remove breed-specific language defining so-called “pit bulls” as vicious. The Garden City Commission will consider the repeal on Tuesday, February 4, 2014.
As it stands now, Garden City’s breed-specific legislation (BSL) defines “pit bulls” as,
. . . any American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier breed, or mixed breed that has the appearance of being predominantly one of those three breeds.
Not only do cities and counties historically have all kinds of trouble identifying the three above-named breeds, but the “predominantly one of those three breeds” part tends to get municipalities in trouble. After all, how do you determine what percentage of a dog is “predominantly” a “pit bull”? Even Denver, touted as a “pit bull” banning success story, can’t seem to tell the difference between a Boxer mix and what they define as a “pit bull.”
And, as Luci Douglass the attorney spearheading the request to repeal BSL in Garden City wrote when she came to this blog in December,
. . . I believe that bans and restrictions encourage conditions which contribute to undetected neglect and abuse, discourage regular vet care including sterilization and vaccinations, and constrict the world of the concerned animal in a way that makes it more difficult for the animal to appropriately react to out-of-the-ordinary experiences. Aside from the unnecessary killing of dogs who may have done nothing to deserve such a fate, blanket bans and restrictions pose significant public health concerns and divert animal control resources away from services which may be more beneficial to the safety and quality-of-life factors in a community . . .
Indeed. As just one example of what Ms. Douglass is saying, the constant containment requirement for “pit bulls,” which is a provision of many breed-specific laws, is animal abuse.
Again, the Garden City Commission meets tomorrow, Feb. 4, 2014, to discuss Ms. Douglass’ repeal request. We wish her and the Commission success in repealing Garden City’s BSL.