LEAWOOD, Kan. — As many communities have since repealed or amended their dangerous animal ordinances the city of Leawood, Kansas is revisiting its own ordinance and is looking to the community for input.
Leawood’s city clerk, Stephen Powell, said over the past few months there have been discussions on the city’s current dangerous animal ordinance.
“There has been some citizen comments about wanting to see the ordinance amended or repealed. And so, before the council makes that policy decision, we thought it best to do the survey,” Powell said.
Leawood is the only Johnson County municipality to have this kind of ordinance. In the coming weeks, Leawood residents, picked at random, will receive a survey in the mail. The survey would ask 3-5 questions about the ordinance.
“We can make sure that their opinion on the matter gets logged, and it does have the ability to shape, you know, decisions that are made at the council level it as a policy question, so it would be taken up before the city council later this year,” Powell said.
If you visit shelters in the Kansas City area, like the KC Pet Project, you’ll see a large number of pit bulls available. Tori Fugate with the organization said ordinances make it difficult for these breeds to get adopted out.
“That just limits the opportunities that these dogs that are in the shelter have to go to homes and it also limits the opportunities that people have to move into those communities,” Fugate said.
She said contrary to what people think, pit bulls do not make up the majority of bite cases in the metro. She hopes to see more discussions on repealing or amending these types of laws.
“We’re seeing all of these communities that are starting to bring this up that are lifting their Pitbull bans and they’ve been doing it with a lot of success. So it’s really exciting for us anytime that we see this and hoping that some other cities in the metro area that still do have these bands are next,” Fugate said.
FOX4 visited Leawood, the city’s dog park and asked dog owners what they thought of the current ban.
“You know, it’s tough just to like you say kind of stereotype it like that where I’m sure that many of those dogs are really nice and you know and should get that opportunity to go to a house anywhere in the community,” Owen Barnhart said.
“I don’t have a problem with pit bulls. It’s not the dog. That’s the problem. It’s the people and sometimes the pit bulls are mixed with a lot of animals. They’re very sweet. They’re very loving. They’re, they’re not. Yes, very strong, but so are a lot of dogs,” Riley Armstrong said.
The City of Leawood hopes to have a final report over the surveys by the end of November.
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