Talk Amongst Yourselves: Should cities place restrictions on ‘dangerous’ dog breeds?

The city of Mission Hills made a technical change to its ordinance regarding dogs that will categorize all pit bulls as "dangerous" instead of "potentially dangerous." The requirements of pit bull owners in the city will not change, however.

The city of Mission Hills on Monday made a technical change to its Domestic Animal Regulations ordinance that recategorizes all pit bulls as “potentially dangerous.” Though the language has changed, the requirements for Mission Hills homeowners with pit bulls remain exactly the same: When the dogs are outside and not enclosed in a fence, they must be on a leash no longer than four feet, be wearing a muzzle at all times and under the control of someone 18 or older. When inside a fence, they must be chained so as not to be able to get within six feet of the fence boundary. The change merely brings the ordinance into sync with a similar ordinance in Overland Park that has recently been upheld by the courts.

Mission Hills also added a provision to its animal ordinance that allows the owners of pets the City Administrator deems “dangerous” or “potentially dangerous” to appeal that decision to the city’s Crime and Safety Committee.

What do you think of cities placing restrictions on specific dog breeds? Have you had encounters with dangerous pets in the past? What’s the best way to balance the safety of neighbors and the community with a resident’s right to own a pet?

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