It seems that with time most jurisdictions discover these laws make no real difference in terms of public security from vicious dog bites/attacks and most have repealed them, or had them stricken down. unfortunately thousands and tens of thousands of dogs have paid with their lives for this instruction to legislators.
City to dismiss pit bull cases
The city of Topeka is discontinuing its prosecution of charges filed against dog owners under an ordinance requiring pit bull dogs to be specially licensed and implanted with a microchip.
The move comes after members of Topeka's governing body voted 9-0 Tuesday evening to approve a 39-page ordinance amending rules regarding animal control and animal cruelty.
City attorney Jackie Williams said the new ordinance, which takes effect Monday, takes steps that include overturning city breed-specific rules banning the ownership, keeping or harboring of any of three specific breeds of pit bull dogs if they haven't been licensed with the city and implanted with a microchip. The city has been confining dogs suspected of being unlicensed or unmicrochipped pit bulls at the Helping Hands Humane Society shelter until any charges against their owners are resolved in Topeka Municipal Court.
Williams said Friday that the city attorney's office planned to dismiss all pit bull breed-specific charges at the next court appearance of each owner, which will allow the owners to immediately claim their dogs from the humane society.
"We are in the process of making efforts to contact the dogs' owners to expedite the release of the dogs," he said.
Williams said seven dogs were being held at the humane society shelter solely because of charges related to their allegedly being pit bulls.
"While we will dismiss the breed-specific charges, each owner faces additional charges, such as dog at large and/or unlicensed dogs, which we will continue to prosecute," he said.
The ordinance approved Tuesday also replaces the city's animal ordinance with a similar but broader "dangerous dogs" ordinance regulating dogs that have shown inappropriate behavior. It requires any dog ruled as dangerous in Topeka Municipal Court to be microchipped, specially licensed and kept in a secured enclosure. Such dogs must be muzzled and secured with a leash not more than four feet long if they are taken outside to urinate, defecate, be sold or given away, or to comply with orders from law enforcement.
Williams said that in addition to the implementation of the ordinance passed Tuesday, a number of other procedural changes were in the works with the city's animal control division.
"This ordinance is just the first step in improving service," he said Friday. "For example, next week the police department will begin joint training with animal control on case investigations."