Pit Bulls Deemed Not Vicious in a Missouri City

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Pit Bulls no longer deemed "vicious" in Missouri city.

Now that the city has removed it’s ordinance, Town and Country will be governed by St. Louis County’s “vicious dog ordinance”, which bases the vicious dog classification solely on a dog’s behaviour. This ordinance does not target any specific breeds.

The city decided to review the ordinance following an issue between two neighbours, one of which had a dog that may have been a pit bull mix. Police were summoned to the homes because the dog was seen running around in its backyard, but the owner was never cited for a violation.

This incident shone some light on the current code, bringing it to the attention of the police department and city leaders. Many came forward to testify in support of removing the breed-specific “vicious” classification.

“I think Town and Country is following the trend that we are seeing to remove breed specific language from municipal ordinances and it make it behavior based,” said Town and Country Police Captain, Gary Hoelzer.

Hoelzer had visited the resident with the pit bull mix in question and is in full support of the city’s decision.

“Based on the history of dog bites in Town and Country, we have yet to see a pit bull bite,” Hoelzer explained. “It’s other breeds. So it really isn’t breed based. It’s how they’re raised. Other circumstances.”

St. Louis County Animal Care and Control staff, Julie Jordan, attended the meeting and testified that pit bulls are not a vicious breed. Instead, it is “the people behind the leash.”

Jordan explained that it is irresponsible owners who are the culprit behind “vicious” dogs, and who are also behind the bad reputation given to pit bulls. Jordan thanked Town and Country city leaders for having done their research on the issue.

“Thank you very much for taking the responsible approach and we are very encouraged to see other municipalities follow suit,” says Jordan.


6 thoughts on “Pit Bulls Deemed Not Vicious in a Missouri City”

  1. I agree this is good news but shame on you for indicating this decision is solely about pit bulls. It will benefit all breeds that find themselves on the “list” not just pits.

  2. About time people started waking up to these issues, you can’t blame an entire breed because of irresponsible owners or because of a few incidents that according to the media *were supposedly pitbulls*. Shame the rest of the world can’t open it’s eyes as easily to this.
    This is just another type of racism in my honest opinion except now it’s no longer about colour, now it’s about breed.
    Pitbulls weren’t bred to be brutal dogs, they’re a very social, caring and loving breed who would throw themselves in harms way to protect those they love just as any family member would.
    In my personal experience, I’ve found them as well as Staffordshire bull terriers and English bull terriers to be some of the most patient and smartest dogs.

  3. It’s very heartwarming to read such good news. Many dogs will not be euthanized just because of their appearance. People is finally learning that canine racism isn’t the way to solve dog bite problems. But I am pro leash laws, not only for pitbulls but for all dogs. If your dog is leashed the chances of your dog biting is in your own hands.

    • @Paper

      I currently own a 16 month old brindle staffordshire bull terrier, when we take her out we put her in a harness and use a 10 meter long lead so that she gets the feel of being off the lead and able to sniff whatever scent might float her way, but if i need to reel her in, i don’t have to stand there shouting or calling or incase of another dog being around, anything happening, not that she reacts to other dogs.
      Most of the time she either lays on the floor riggling like it’s xmas or she shoves her backside in their direction and waits to be sniffed. Even when we’ve been out and some jack russel or yorkie starts barking or growling in her direction, she just lays flat without making any sound of her own and waits till they calm down and lets them sniff her.
      Everyone in my area knows her and all make a big fuss of her whenever they see her now, she never barks or growls at home either, only time she barks is one loud sharp bark at the frontdoor if someone knocks unannounced, then she checks our reaction to see if she did good or is to follow it up with more barking.
      Good training goes a long way.

  4. Finally a city with some brains!! Congrats i will be spreading the word about your great city !! And I’m from nyc where pitbulls are also loved

  5. I’m in the state of arkansas in the city of camden and I want someone to tell me what are the steps that one could take to have the vicious law act to change here..cause also here …they label pitbulls as vicious dogs.. please email me @ [email protected]


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