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Bitch Noone Wanted
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
KS: Topeka - City Repeals BSL

City approves animal ordinance

By Tim Hrenchir
Created September 28, 2010 at 9:58pm

Updated September 28, 2010 at 11:23pm

Topeka's governing body decided without objection Tuesday evening to make changes to city rules for stray cats and dangerous dogs that supporters described as being groundbreaking and progressive.

Mayor Bill Bunten and eight city council members voted 9-0, with Councilman John Alcala being absent because of back problems, to pass a 39-page ordinance amending rules regarding animal control and animal cruelty to enhance public safety, protect animals and save taxpayer dollars.

The ordinance does away with the city's breed-specific rules requiring owners to obtain special licenses and to implant microchips in any dogs that have the appearance and characteristics of being predominantly of any of three types of pit bull dog.

The ordinance was crafted through a team effort involving Councilwoman Karen Hiller, city staff members and a committee of eight citizens who have an interest in animal-related matters. Committee members were among nine people who spoke before the council about the proposal Tuesday, with each expressing support for it.

"This is a groundbreaking ordinance, and it's going to revolutionize animal welfare in the city of Topeka," said committee member Mike Bauman, president of the Friends of Hill's Bark Park organization.

The committee also included University of Kansas law student Katie Bray Barnett, whom Hiller said is nationally recognized as an expert on animal control legislation. Barnett, a graduate of Topeka West High School, said the ordinance before the governing body Tuesday had garnered national attention and was being considered as a potential model ordinance by officials in Ellis, Kan.; Ogden, Utah; Toledo, Ohio; and Douglasville, Ga.
Councilwoman Sylvia Ortiz said she had been contacted by a Denver City Council member about the ordinance.

Ruth Tessendorf, president of the Topeka Kennel Club, told governing body members Tuesday's vote was also being watched by a boxer dog group, which was considering holding a show next year at the Kansas Expocentre but wouldn't be willing to do that if the city kept in place its breed-specific rules for pit bulls.

The passage of Tuesday's ordinance overturns rules banning the ownership, keeping or harboring of pit bulls that haven't been licensed with the city and implanted with a microchip. The city had been requiring itself to confine dogs suspects of being pit bulls until any charges against their owners are resolved in Topeka Municipal Court. Assistant city attorney Kyle Smith estimated the passage of Tuesday's ordinance would save the city $30,000 a year it spends to confine suspected pit bulls at the Helping Hands Humane Society.

The ordinance also changes city cat licensing rules to make it clear that licenses aren't required for feral cats that show a straight-line cutting of the tip of their left ear to show they have been spayed or neutered and vaccinated.

Smith said the ordinance sanctions a process used successfully in other communities where volunteer groups - not at taxpayer expense - trap feral cats, spay or neuter and vaccinate them, then release them in their original locations after cropping an ear to identify them.

Tuesday's speakers included Carol Westerdale, founder and director of Save Our Shelter Animals, who said her nonprofit group has operated a trap-neuter-return program for feral cats here since last year and recently received a $10,000 grant from Petco.

The ordinance approved Tuesday also replaces the city's vicious animals ordinance with a similar but broader "dangerous dogs" ordinance regarding dogs that have shown inappropriate aggressive behavior.

It replaces city rules that allowed for dogs to be tethered outdoors for as long as an hour at a time and as much as three hours a day by allowing dog owners unlimited supervised tethering but reducing unsupervised tethering of dogs to 15 minutes

Ortiz voted in favor of the ordinance Tuesday after she voted against recommending its passage at a Sept. 21 meeting of the council's public health and safety committee.

Ortiz said Tuesday she hadn't been willing to support the ordinance at that time because some of her questions about it hadn't been answered, but she felt comfortable supporting the ordinance after those questions were answered.

The measure approved Tuesday makes no changes to licensing fees for cats and dogs.
Tim Hrenchir can be reached at (785) 295-1184 or [email protected].

City approves animal ordinance | CJOnline.com

Bitch Noone Wanted
8,939 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Topeka, KS City Council repeals breed-specific legislation - Dallas pet laws | Examiner.com

Topeka, KS City Council repeals breed-specific legislation - Dallas pet laws | Examiner.com

Topeka, KS City Council repeals breed-specific legislation

* October 3rd, 2010 4:07 pm CT

Do you like this story?

The Topeka, Kansas city council unanimously voted to repeal
breed-specific animal ordinance Tuesday, replacing it with a new
breed-neutral dangerous dog ordinance. The move will save the city an
estimated $30,000-$50,000 annually and reduce shelter overcrowding
euthanasia rates.

The new ordinance also facilitates the efforts of privately-funded
groups that trap, neuter and release feral cats.

Topeka's new animal control ordinance, a result of a partnership between
city staff and the animal welfare community, is being praised as a model
for the rest of the nation.

For more information:

WIBW: New Animal Control Ordinance Passed For Topeka

Topeka Capital-Journal:
City approves animal ordinance | CJOnline.com

KC Dog Blog:

Topeka leads the way with new animal legislation (and how your city can do it too) - KC DOG BLOG
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