El Dorado plans vote next month on possibly ending pit bull ban

EL DORADO, Kansas – City leaders appeared ready to move Monday on an ordinance that would end the pit bull ban that has been in place here for almost 30 years.

The city commission says it is hoping to vote on the ordinance as early as next month after it reviewed the city’s dangerous animal ordinance and took more public feedback from residents.

On Monday, commissioners heard from Peggy Bourbon, whose daughter Mary has a pit bull that serves as a therapy dog. Mary currently lives in Butler County, but when she recently brought her pit bull, named Tipsy, into city limits, she was fined and jailed, Bourbon told the commissioners.

“[Tipsy] is her companion, her constant companion, and she’s a very gentle dog, she’s 2 yrs old,” Peggy Bourbon said. “She’s with my daughter at all times.”

Commissioners also heard from residents who were concerned for the safety of residents and neighbors should the ban be lifted.

“You still need some checks by those neighbors, because if that dog bites one person in that neighborhood, it’s probably going to be a kid,” a retired letter carrier, who identified himself as Gary, said.

The draft ordinance being considered by city leaders ends the ban on pit bulls, but puts numerous restrictions in place, like mandatory microchipping and sterilization, annual licensure and a 2 pit bull maximum per household. It also calls for steeper fines and possible removal of animals that exhibit dangerous behavior.

“We can legislate the dog, not the bite,” commissioner David Chapin said. “We’re having to put a lot of restrictions on the citizens to do the right thing with their pets.”

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