Thursday, December 4, 2014

Pit bulls remain banned in KCK after 4-4 vote


KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- The pit bull ban remains in effect in Kansas City, Kan., after a motion to lift the ban failed by a 4-4 vote.

Six votes were required to lift the ban.

Commissioners Ann Murguia, Angela Markley, Mike Kane and Jane Philbrook voted to over-turn the ban.

Commissioners Hal Walker, Jim Walters, Gayle Townsend and Tarence Maddox voted to keep the ban in place.

Had a fifth commissioner voted “aye,” the vote would have turned to Unified Government Mayor/CEO Mark Holland.

Walker was the strongest proponent of keeping the ban in place.

In his argument, he pointed that even with the ban in place, there have been 20 reported bites KCK the past two years.

“The ban was in response to a number of incidents throughout the country in which the pit bull has been identified as a particularly vicious and tenacious biter,” Walker said. “As of 2013, the police records indicate that there were five people bitten and by pit bulls. This year, there’s been 15 bites.
What’s interesting is there shouldn't be any pit bulls in Wyandotte County. That tells me people will ignore the law.”

The strongest proponent of overturning the ban was Commissioner Mike Kane. In his comments, Kane pointed to the two pit bulls his daughter owned.

“My daughter had two pit bulls,” Kane said. “You could wrestle with the dogs. If you said ‘ouch,’ the dogs backed off. When college was done, she had to give those dogs up to move to Wyandotte County.  The pit bulls aren’t the problem. It’s the owners of the pit bulls. I don’t believe it’s the dog.”

Pit bulls have been banned in KCK since 1990.

Last year, another city in Wyandotte County – Bonner Springs – voted to overturn its pit bull ban.