After studying the breed-specific language in the City’s dangerous animal ordinance this summer, the City Council voted last night to repeal Overland Park’s pit bull ban.
In the Spring, the City Council Public Safety Committee began exploring options to update the ordinance after a group of advocates approached the committee, asking it to eliminate the breed-specific provisions of the dangerous dog ordinance.
At its May and June meetings, the committee heard from residents, veterinarians, animal behavior experts, City staff, animal control officials, and others about the City’s ordinance and pit bull dogs. Most speakers were in favor of doing away with the breed-specific language in the ordinance.
“I appreciate all the feedback we received from those who helped us discuss this,” said Public Safety Committee Chair Paul Lyons. “We received consistent feedback from the residents in favor of this change, and I feel good about moving this forward with support from the community.”
As part of the review and after these meetings, the committee also directed staff to strengthen portions of the City’s ordinance regarding registration, tethering and permitting of animals.
City Council unanimously approved the updated ordinance last night.
Changes to the ordinance remove references to “pit bull dogs” as prohibited “dangerous animals”. Previously, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and American Pit Bull Terriers were prohibited in Overland Park under the dangerous animal section of the ordinance.
Wolf hybrid dogs were previously banned under the “dangerous animal” section of the ordinance and are still not allowed to be kept as pets in Overland Park, along with wild animals like lions, bears, gorillas, and others.
Dogs that have previously bitten a person are considered dangerous animals and can still be seized and impounded.
The updated ordinance prohibits dog owners from tethering animals outside and alone for more than 30 minutes, prohibits dogs from being tethered in an open area where they could be teased or provoked into attacking, and requires dogs have access to shade in the heat and shelter in the cold.
Additional changes encourage dog owners to spay and neuter their pets. It reduces licensing fees for animals that are spayed or neutured and microchipped.
The updated ordinance takes effect Sept. 28, 2021.