LIBERTY, Mo. — Pit bulls are now legally welcome in Liberty.
Voters overturned a ban on the breed on election night, and on Monday, the city council voted unanimously to declare it.
Two years after the idea of repealing the ban began to surface, it was made official at Liberty’s city council meeting Monday night. It was standing room only as dozens were there to hear the mayor declare the ordinance.
The ban on pit bulls had been in place in Liberty for nearly 40 years. The win was a slim one; 48 percent of voters wanted the ban to stay in place. Only 133 votes separated a victory from a loss.
“There is always the possibility that something happens, and so we have to make sure that we’ve done everything we can from a citizen perspective, from a staff perspective, from a municipal court perspective that we’re protecting the public," Liberty Mayor Lyndell Brenton said.
Liberty Pit Bull Alliance has backed the repeal for years. They spent the week before election night door-to-door canvassing.
“There’s still a fear factor with some people, but I think common sense is prevailing on this," Jessica McKinney said. "The education and facts are coming out. I am very proud of city council for working with us and getting a really comprehensive dangerous dog ordinance on the books for our community.”
The Dangerous Dog Ordinance has been on the books since early 2017. McKinney said the idea is to judge individual dogs based on their characters and traits instead of banning entire breeds.
She said the ordinance also gives Animal Control workers more leeway during these types of calls, since they can treat each situation on a case-by-case basis.
City officials encourage anyone with concerns about a particular dog to call Animal Control and file a complaint.