Back in 2006, Springfield, MO passed an ordinance that banned 'pit bulls' from the city. As part of the ban, the city shelter was no longer adopting out any 'pit bulls', or allowing rescues from other areas to pull them for adoption.
Nope, if you are an unlicensed 'pit bull' in Springfield, and the city gets their hands on you, you're dead. There are no other options. You don't have to bite someone. You can be a great dog. It doesn't matter. It's instant death for the dog.
Councilwoman Mary Collette tried to change that last night. She had proposed to the council that even though she didn't agree with the ban, the least the city could do is allow licensed rescues from other cities to pull well-tempered 'pit bulls' and adopt them out in other cities that don't have bans.
Last night, the city council voted 6-3 to deny Collette's request, and to continue killing all 'pit bulls'. The perceived notion that they were protecting the public wasn't enough (their data deosn't really support that they are having a real impact on the public safety angle)-- only killing was enough for them.
The council apparently agreed with City Attorney Dan Wichmer, who said the city would be at risk of a lawsuit if someone ever got bitten by a dog the let go.
Honestly, this is where the city has made such a huge flaw in their law in the first place. By passing BSL, they have now made the statement that its not owners that are responsible for their dogs. Nope, instead of making owners responsible for their dogs (they should be), they have now made the precarious statement that the city knows what a dangerous dog is - -and have such, banned them. However, if that is their logic, then it would appear that the city is opening itself up to be liable for any dog attack -- because if THEY are the ones who know what a dangerous dog is, and owners aren't responsible, this seems like they are in the same jeopardy of lawsuit for any dog that now attacks in the city.
We have to start requiring owners to be responsible for the actions of their dogs. There is no other successful way to deal with dog attacks. And cities may be opening themselves up to liability issues because they are now assuming responsibility.
The whole logic in Springfield is flawed - and fatally so for countless dogs who are not aggressive, not dangerous, and heck, many not even 'pit bulls'. But in the past 3 years, this city of 150,000, has killed approximately 900 pit bulls.
And the slaughter continues.