INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – The City of Independence announced a special meeting Monday that will be held on May 22, immediately following a work study session on its dangerous dog ordinance.
The agenda for that meeting will be published Tuesday, but sources with the City of Independence tell FOX4 it will deal with a petition to have the city’s breed specific ban involving pit bulls repealed or placed on the ballot.
The city has reviewed the ban several times over the years, including as recently as 2019, but it’s remained in place. Now it could be heading to voters to decide.
A group collected more than 5,600 signatures in a month and turned in those petitions hoping to end Independence’s pit bull ban or put it on the ballot.
With Monday’s reading of the ordinance Independence is now on the clock. It has 30 days to repeal the ban or put it on the ballot within 90 days.
On Monday, City Council learned for that to happen in the August election they’ll have to make a decision by May 30. But with no meeting in two weeks because of Memorial Day, a special meeting will take place May 22.
Kansas City Pet Project says its data shows pit bulls aren’t more prone to biting humans or being violent compared to other dog breeds.
“We think the sentiment is pretty clear. People recognize it isn’t a particular dog, it’s behavior of an animal and that behavior should be measured against the dangerous dog ordinance whether it’s a German Shepherd, a pit bull, or a Doberman,” Jason White said.
They point out several other cities in the Kansas City area have already voted to repeal pit pull bans, including Overland Park, Sugar Creek, Lee’s Summit, Liberty, and Roeland Park.
But some in attendance call those leading the petition drive a small group of mostly outsiders.
“I keep hearing its all how they are raised. If this is true then why does this breed keep getting into the hands of so many people that incorrectly raise them? Why don’t other breeds have the same issue at alarming rate,” Debbie Skaggs asked.
Others fear petitioners aren’t familiar with the mauling of Alan Hill in 2006 that prompted the ban in the first place.
📲 Download the FOX4 News app to stay updated on the go.
📧 Sign up for FOX4 email alerts to have breaking news sent to your inbox.
💻 Find today’s top stories on fox4kc.com for Kansas City and all of Kansas and Missouri.
“I guess a good way to find out is go ahead and lift it. Those who ignore past are doomed to repeat it,” Bob Brackenberry said.
White said he’s studied that 2006 incident, but points out the owner was criminally charged, not the dogs.