Prairie Village council will discuss possible repeal of pit bull ban Tuesday

Prairie Village’s city council considered removing the “breed specific language” banning ownership of pit bulls in the city back in 2016, but the measure failed on a 7-5 vote. Photo credit Shutterstock.

The Prairie Village City Council on Tuesday will discuss the possibility of repealing language on its books that prohibits residents from owning pit bulls.

The item is set to come up for discussion as part of the council committee of the whole meeting agenda at the request of councilmembers Jori Nelson, Tucker Poling, Ron Nelson and Chad Herring.

Under current city ordinance, it is “unlawful to own, harbor, shelter, keep, control, manage, or possess” any animals that meet the following descriptions:

  • The Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed of dog
  • The American Pit Bull Terrier breed of dog
  • The American Staffordshire Terrier breed of dog
  • Any dog having the appearance and characteristics of being predominately of the breeds of Staffordshire pit bull terrier, American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire bull terrier; or a combination of any of these breeds.

There has been a trend among local municipal governments in recent years to take such bans off the books on the argument that there is not good scientific evidence that particular breeds of dog pose a greater safety risk than others. In recent years, neighboring cities Shawnee, Roeland Park, Fairway and Mission Hills have either removed or altered the sections of their dangerous animal ordinances that banned specific breeds of dogs.

In the Shawnee Mission area, Overland Park and Leawood also still have breed specific language on their books, though in Leawood residents can own the named breeds if they register the dogs with the city as “dangerous.”

It’s not the first time the idea of removing the “breed specific language” has come before the governing body in Prairie Village. The council considered repealing the ban on pit bulls back in fall 2016, but it failed on a 7-5 vote.

Tuesday’s discussion at the committee of the whole meeting will be preliminary. Final action would have to occur at a later date.