‘We just love it when these cities finally lift their bans’: Independence considers lifting its pit bull ban

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- Liberty and Kansas City, Kansas have already done it. Now Independence may follow suit.

Pit bulls are banned in the city of Independence and have been for the last 13 years. Since a man was almost killed back in 2006 Independence residents have been unable to own pit bulls.

At 4400 Raytown Road, more than 100 of the dogs at the Kansas City Pet Project shelter are pit bulls or pit bull mixes. As its Chief Communications Officer Tori Fugate said, "a lot of shelters are full of pit bulls."

And they all want homes; but right now, none of those homes can be in Independence.

Since 2006, they've been banned. Now, 13 years later, that's up for debate.

"We just love it when these cities finally lift their bans," Fugate said. "Because that just means more homes are available to more shelter animals."

Things were slow at the Dog Park at Santa Fe Park at lunch Sunday. There were only a handful of dogs out and only golden retrievers and huskies. None of their owners wanted to share their opinions of pit bulls, but maybe the fact that they own a dog that isn't a pit bull says it all.

"We just have so many great dogs that are looking for homes," Fugate said. "It's unfair that there's been this stigma surrounding them for the past 20 years or so, because we just have so many wonderful dogs that are looking for homes."

The city of Independence scheduled a public hearing on its pit bull ban called "breed specific legislation." It is slated for 6 p.m. Nov. 6 at the Independence Utilities Center, 17221 E. 23rd St. It is open to the public. If you are a resident who can't make that meeting, but still want to share your opinion, email them at BSLpublichearing@indepmo.org through Nov. 13.

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