A veteran suffered from post-traumatic stress after his tour overseas could either be forced to move or give up his therapy dog because Diesel is a Pit Bull Terrier.
Bo Ready has an attorney and is hoping to get the city ordinance changed.
"This dog is more than a companion. It provides a service to him. It comforts him when he's having an anxiety attack," said Katie Barnett, who is co-counsel for Ready.
Belleville is a small town just south of the Nebraska border. The ban on pit bulls, boxers and Rottweilers dates back years.
Belleville City Attorney Rachel Zenger said the ordinance is clear and only registered service dogs are allowed an exception. Diesel provides comfort to Ready.
Ready would like to get Diesel trained as a service dog once he can afford it. In the meantime, more than 500 supporters as well as psychiatrists and other medical professionals have written city leaders in support of Diesel and lifting the ban.
But Zenger said the council isn't budging.
"It was taken into consideration by the council, and they felt it was the best decision for Belleville to continue to ban certain breeds," she said.
Bo Ready joined the Kansas Army National Guard in 2005, and he is still a mechanic.
In 2009, Bo Ready was sent to Egypt and did a tour of a year. When he returned to Kansas, he faced serious emotional and mental issues. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress and severe depression.
"I would blow up and break things, and sometimes it would be the smallest thing that I would blow up on," he said.
He sought help from psychologists, and was admitted to mental health facilities multiple times. During a 7-week stay at the Veterans Hospital last Christmas, he found some relief. A dog trainer brought two Pit Bull Terriers to the hospital for canine therapy.
"I just had joy being with them and petting them," he said.
Dogs are often used to provide therapy, comfort and companionship for soldiers struggling with post-traumatic stress and other issues. His psychologist recommended he get a dog, so he got Diesel when he was just an 8-week-old pup.
He turns to the dog when he is down or feels an anxiety attack coming on. He said playing with the dog and petting the dog comforts him, or just lying on the couch with his dog.
"It calms me down with him around," he said.
In July, a Belleville police officer came to his home and alerted him to the city ban on pit bulls. Ready was eventually issued a citation.
Zenger said 16 states refuse to let cities ban dogs simply because of their breeds.
Ready said Belleville has never enforced the ordinance before even though there are other violators.
"I've seen many dogs around here that are illegal. It seems like they targeted me because I have my dog out in the public," he said. "I run my dog."
Or he did. He said he is keeping Diesel mainly inside until the issue is resolved, which he said is a problem for the dog.
The case will go before a municipal judge this fall.
He cannot imagine Diesel not being in his life, saying the council's attitude irritates him.
"I should be able to keep my dog," he said.
If he doesn't win in court, then he said he will move away from the only town he's ever called home.
"I wouldn't have a choice because I'm not getting rid of my dog," he declared.
Click here for a link to the city of Belleville's website.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
Veteran faces giving up pit bull therapy dog or leaving townMore>>
Tuesday, April 22 2014 8:47 PM EDT2014-04-23 00:47:34 GMT
A duck with "dangerous propensities" is at the center of a $275,000 lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Clackamas County. It claims the plaintiff, Cynthia Ruddell, stepped out of her motorhomeMore >
The lawsuit claims the duck has a history of attacking people and its owner was negligent for failing to maintain proper control of her animal.More >
Tuesday, April 22 2014 5:56 PM EDT2014-04-22 21:56:02 GMT
A 45-year-old Kansas City man has died from his injuries after a head-on crash in the Northland.More >
A 45-year-old Kansas City man has died from his injuries after a head-on crash in the Northland. A Lee's Summit man is accused of driving with a blood-alcohol level more than three times the legal limit when he caused the crash. More >
Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:51 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:51:09 GMT
A new airline is going to take off at Kansas City International Airport.Officials have scheduled a news conference for 10 a.m. Wednesday to "make a major announcement about new air service" at the airport.More >
A new airline is going to take off at Kansas City International Airport. Spirit Airlines is now allowing passengers to book flights to and from KCI. More >
Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:59 PM EDT2014-04-23 02:59:07 GMT
Parents at Children's Mercy Hospitals were greeted Tuesday with a new "No Hit Zone". It's an anti-spanking initiative being practiced in only a handful of hospitals in the country. "We want parents toMore >
Parents at Children's Mercy Hospitals were greeted Tuesday with a new "No Hit Zone". It's an anti-spanking initiative being practiced in only a handful of hospitals in the country.More >
Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:50 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:50:00 GMT
A 10-year-old shooting victim is in a hospital battling a serious infection from his injuries as his family grapples with paying for his mounting medical bills."One day we're praising and we're happy andMore >
A 10-year-old shooting victim is in a hospital battling a serious infection from his injuries as his family grapples with paying for his mounting medical bills.More >
Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:39 AM EDT2014-04-22 15:39:39 GMT
Grand jury transcripts released Monday revealed disturbing allegations about a fugitive who apparently wrote notes on 17 girls, gave them ratings and marked whether they were alone or not. Portland policeMore >
A police detective says Kelly Swoboda wrote about 17 girls, giving them ratings and noting their hair color and whether they were alone or not.More >