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Bill recently filed in Mo. legislature would end dog breed specific bans

Missouri State Representative Bruce DeGroot (R) from Chesterfield is sponsoring House Bill 1398.It would prohi...

Posted: Dec. 14, 2017 5:08 PM
Updated: Dec. 14, 2017 5:08 PM

Missouri State Representative Bruce DeGroot (R) from Chesterfield is sponsoring House Bill 1398.

It would prohibit 'villages, towns, and cities from regulating dogs in a breed-specific manner'.

The bill is in its early stages in the state legislature.

If this bill passes, it would basically eliminate any breed-specific laws statewide.

Mandy Ryan with Missouri K9 Friends said she believes getting rid of breed-specific bans will allow animal control officers to do their real jobs. She said they'll be able to focus on irresponsible owners and aggressive dogs based on their behavior, not breeds. Ryan said in the current system animal control workers are understaffed with little resources and spend much of their time checking on reports of pit-bull sightings.

"You're not focusing on the problem and that's irresponsible owners, it's actually aggressive (dogs)," said Ryan.

Currently, at least 43 areas have breed specific bans across the state of Missouri according to BSL Census. The group is an advocate for pit bulls.

Ferguson has had a pit-bull ban in place since 1996 and updated the ordinance in 2005.

Most people News 4 spoke with on Wednesday in Ferguson were not aware there was an ordinance over pit-bulls.

"I like pets, I like dogs, I like cats, I don't have an opinion one way or another. I know pit-bulls are dangerous. They do have a vicious nature about them when they're trained to be that way," said Ferguson resident Michael Thomas.

HB 1398 is in its early stages. It's waiting to be assigned a committee or hearing before it can move forward.

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