OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Overland Park could soon drop breed restrictions preventing residents from owning pit bulls.
On Thursday, the Overland Park Public Safety Committee unanimously approved staff recommendations to update city code regarding pet licensing, dog tethering and breed restrictive language.
City staff recommend approving an updated licensing fee scale that would include:
- A $20 licensing fee for an animal that is not spayed or neutered.
- A $10 licensing fee for an animal that is spayed, neutered or microchipped.
- A $5 licensing fee for an animal that is spayed or neutered, and microchipped
Current city code limits tethering of a dog between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. If changes are approved, allowing a dog to be tethered for more than 30 minutes at a time without supervision would become a code violation.
The committee also approved additional regulations for tethering that include:
Dogs cannot be tethered without access to shade when temperatures could potentially cause the animal to overheat or shelter when temperatures drop below 40 degrees.
Dogs cannot be tethered in an open space where the animal can be provoked by people or other animals.
Dogs cannot be tethered in a space where dirt is exposed and the owner isn’t taking precautions to prevent the space from becoming muddy.
City staff have recommended adding wolf-hybrids, wolf-mix and Tundra Shepherds to the list of dangerous animals.
Under the proposed amendments, restrictions on pit bull breeds including Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Put Bull Terrier and dogs with physical characteristics of a pit bull have been removed.
Staff propose replacing the breed restrictive language in the city code with:
“Any Dog or Cat having been previously determined by any other City or Municipality to be a dangerous or vicious animal shall be prima facie evidence that said dog or cat is a dangerous animal, unless that determination was based solely on breed or breed mix.”
“If it’s bitten or attacked in another city and you bring it here, we are going to consider it dangerous just as it was considered dangerous in the previous city.” Assistant City Attorney Eric Blevins said.
Staff recommend all former requirements for pit bull ownership be removed from the code; however, owners of newly defined dangerous animals must provide proof of microchipping to the city clerk within 10 days of being designated such. The proposed changes also require owners of dangerous animals to provide proof their pet has been spayed or neutered to the city clerk.
Code violations and penalties have been updated to include a provision that would allow the municipal court judge to award restitution to victims of a dangerous animal attack.
The proposed code amendments will progress to the Overland Park City Council for a final vote on Monday, Sept. 20. If approved by the council, the changes would go into effect on Tuesday, Sept. 28.