Council, not voters, will decide fate of Independence’s Pit bull ban

Published: May. 22, 2023 at 8:47 PM CDT
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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (KCTV) - The fate of Independence’s Pit bull ban, which has been on the books for nearly 20 years, will not be put in the hands of voters. Instead, the city council will decide.

On Monday night, the city council voted 5-2 to not put the ban on the ballot. That means that, at their next meeting, the city council will vote whether to repeal or keep the ban.

Based on comments leading up to the vote, it appears the ban might be repealed.

The same group of people who showed up dressed in red on May 1 turned out at tonight’s city council meeting, hoping to see the ban repealed. They started the petition drive that got the issue this far.

Part of the reason the ban was implemented back in 2006 was that there were several attacks involving Pit bulls in the city. Since then, many cities in the metro area have repealed their bans.

Some city council members wanted to see the fate of the ban be put on the ballot.

“Tonight, I’m going to vote -- just like I said I would three years ago -- to send it to the voters,” said councilmember Michael Steinmeyer of District 3.

Others felt the opposite and even hinted at what stance they’ll take when it comes before the council.

“In two weeks, I will be voting to repeal the ban,” said Councilmember Dan Hobart of District 4.

“I’m voting against putting this language on the ballot tonight and will be voting at our next to repeal the current ordinance,” Councilmember Jared Fears said.

Those words brought much confidence to those in the crowd wearing red.

“It’s just been a lot of work, but it has so been worth it,” said Pit bull advocate Miriam Keith. “To know that we have dogs in Independence that are no longer going to be discriminated against, I’m just overwhelmed.”

The city council will vote on the future of the ban at their next meeting on June 5.

Previous coverage:

Pit bull ban remains on the books in Independence

Voters debate Pit bull ban in Independence

Pit bull ban repealed in Excelsior Springs after 35 years