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Tonganoxie, KS: Possibility to repeal BSL
Posted on May 11, 2009 by stopbslcom
The Mirror / City council to look at changing dog ordinance

City council to look at changing dog ordinance
By Estuardo Garcia

May 8, 2009

Good dogs with a bad reputation might soon be getting a second chance in Tonganoxie.

On Monday the Tonganoxie City Council directed city staff to look at reliable and impartial statistics on dog-related attacks to see if it needed to update its ban on specific dog breeds.

This direction came after Casey Allen approached the council to get an exemption from the city's 16-year-old ordinance banning pit bulls and rottweilers.

Allen recently moved into Tonganoxie with his family, which includes a rottweiler. Allen said he was unaware of the ban when he came to Tonganoxie. Allen was given a 10-day notice to remove the dog from the city limits.

"If I had known you couldn't have them I wouldn't have moved here," Allen told the council. "I can't get out of my lease and I can't lose the dog, he's part of my family."

While the members of the council empathized with Allen's situation they agreed they could not grant Allen an exemption without changing the 1993 ordinance. Even adding changes such as muzzling specific breeds of dogs that are considered more vicious would require a legislative change.

"It's a black and white rule with no exceptions," Mike Kelly, city attorney said about the ordinance. "It's easily enforced and easily interpreted. I love dogs too, but I would say keep the ordinance as it is."

Kelly said even having the proper insurance would not be sufficient liability coverage for having a dog on the banned list. Kelly also told Allen to check with his insurance company to see if they covered his breed of dog.

New councilmember Burdel Welsh said he appreciated Allen coming to the council with this situation and suggested that the city look into possibly updating the list of banned dogs.

In a small 18-town survey of dog bans in the state, 11 of them did not specifically ban rottweilers.

"From '93 to '98 pit bulls and rottweiler were identified as dogs involved in most attacks," Welsh said. "I just don't know if that information is stall valid 16 years later. If it is, I don't have a problem keeping the current ordinance. If it's not, there might be some room for change."

City staff will come back with the results of their findings at the next council meeting May 18.

Allen will still be responsible for getting his rottweiler outside of the city limits until the ordinance is changed.
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