Overland Park working to change ban on pit bulls in city

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — A Johnson County suburb is discussing its dangerous dog ordinance. Overland Park City Council is looking at changing the rule that bans pit bulls in the city. 

Tuesday marks the first of a three step process. First, the Public Safety Commitee heard from experts. Public comment comes later this summer. Then, city council will make a decision. 

The topic has already perked up ears across the Kansas City area. 

“Coolest breed on the block,” Glenn Golden said while pointing at a picture of a pit bull on his shirt, “end BSL.”

“I feel if BSL is in place, it’s in place for a reason,” Jaime Dial said. 

BSL stand for Breed Specific Legislation. 

Since 1986, The City of Overland Park has put restrictions on the types of dogs its residents could have and how they could handle them. 

Golden is for the repeal of the pit bull ban.

He’s also OK with dangerous dog laws and responsible ownership, but said it’s unfair to single out pit bulls. 

“I don’t think it’s fair to pick on a specific breed just based on its looks,” Golden said. “A lot of times they’re mixed breeds and wouldn’t be considered a pit bull anyway.”

Change could be on the way, six cities in the last five years have lifted pit bull bans, including three in Johnson County.

“They’re legal in Olathe, Shawnee and KCK,” Golden said.

Overland Park could be thee seventh. 

But not Dial can help it. 

“Two Pit bulls killed my third dog,” Dial said.

She was team pit bull, until she said her dog was killed by two pit bulls. 

“Before that I believed in, ‘it’s how they’re raised, you have to raise them to be vicious, bad owners make bad dogs’,” Dial said.

She believe the ban is in place for a reason and should not be lifted, especially without restrictions. 

“Those of us that are on the victim’s side, don’t hate your bit bull. We don’t want your pit bull ripped from your home and euthanized,” Dial said. “We want owners to be educated on genetics and we want pit bulls to stop being pushed into family homes as if they’re just like any other breed and just need love.”

Golden disagrees, “I think overwhelmingly what you’re going to hear [Tuesday] is it’s an unfair law and there’s really no need for it.”

Public comment will be held June 9, 2021. 

City Council will have the final vote on any potential changes. A decision is expected by the end of summer or early fall. 

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