Animal treatment under review
Pit bull, shelter ordinances are among hot topics for council.
News-Leader • November 23, 2010
The Springfield City Council is again studying policies regarding animals and has already zeroed in on two topics -- the pit bull ordinance and the current animal shelter.
While council members came to the meeting with a wish list of possible solutions, they had no definite plans for footing the bill.
Along with some outside help, including former Councilwoman Mary Collette, the two committees hope to address issues with animal care in the city.
The meeting began with a two-page list of discussion topics but quickly centered around the city's controversial pit bull ordinance and the status of the current city animal shelter.
The ordinance, passed while Collette was on the council, requires that pit bulls be microchipped, the owner pay registration fees and the dog be spayed or neutered, along with other restrictions.
Collette, a vocal opponent to the pit bull ordinance, said she feels that many want the ordinance to be replaced with a vicious animal ordinance that would cover all dangerous animals, not just pit bulls.
Kevin Gipson, director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, said he never liked the breed-specific ordinance, but said it has done good in the city, specifically leading to far fewer euthanizations of pit bulls by the health department.
He said the ordinance resulted from a desire to reduce the number of vicious dog attacks in the area.
"There was an outcry from citizens to council, 'Do something about this,'" he said.
Because there was no money to be put behind the effort, Gipson said, the pit bull ordinance was the easiest and most cost-effective way to address the problem.
Animal treatment under review | News-Leader.com | Springfield News-Leader