Welcome back. In the past 8 years of writing this blog this is (by far) the longest stretch between posts. Things have been busy. Life has been busy. A LOT has been going on. I appologize for my absence. Meanwhile, I've been gathering a whole host of blog post ideas -- some long, some short -- but all I think important. We'll see if somehow I can get those thoughts articulated into actual content but I think I'm back in the saddle.
One of the items that has kept me busy the past couple of months is HB 1116/SB 865.
I confess, that I wasn't terribly optimistic when the bill was introduced. Freshman bills seldom get much traction in the Missouri Legislature unless there is a perceived urgent need. However, the bill got a lot of support very quickly. It passed out of committee in both houses, and passed the entire House of Representatives. However, it never made it out of the Senate in spite of a lot of support.
So, without much fanfare, the legislative session ended and the bill was still left unpassed.
In many ways, it's sad. Because for each passing day that waits with breed bans in place, dogs are removed from homes, and killed in state shelters just based on how they look. Springfield, MO, Missouri's third largest city, has killed one pit bull per day for nearly a decade due to their breed-specific provisions. (Interestingly, Springfield is very high on the national list of dog bites to mail carriers for such a small city, which is strong indication of the lack of the success of the ordinance from a public safety perspective).
But overall, experts overwhelmingly oppose laws targeting specific breeds of dogs -- and many municipalities are already taking steps to repeal their own laws. And I feel good about the number of members of the state legislature that are on board with making the change. I do think we'll overcome a few small hurdles and eventually be successful in passing this piece of legislation.
However, the sooner the better for the sake of the animals and the families that love them.