EL DORADO, Kansas – Dozens of residents told the El Dorado City Commission Monday that they do not want the city to use a “dangerous dog breed” list as a way to allow pit bulls back in city limits.
The list was one of several proposals city staff presented to the commission at Monday night’s meeting, and it drew plenty of fire from residents. It classified several breeds of pit bull, as well as German shepherds, dobermans, rottweilers, and other breeds as dangerous, potentially prompting further regulation on those breeds.
The city’s ban on pit bulls, in place since the 1980’s, may be overturned as the city considers changes to ordinances on dangerous animals.
Residents say the city’s ban on pit bulls has been ineffective, arguing that it’s all about who the owner is that determines how ill-tempered a dog may be.
“I’ve killed a lot of good dogs because pit bulls are prohibited in El Dorado,” Davy Harkins, veterinarian and owner of the El Dorado Animal Clinic, told the commission.
The proposed additional requirements on pets on the so-called dangerous dog breed list include a $50 annual registration fee, mandatory microchipping and sterilization, as well as extra insurance.
“If I call my insurance company and say El Dorado requires me to have $50,000 more of insurance because I have a dangerous dog, they can cancel my insurance,” Tom Elliott, a resident who owns a German shepherd, said.
City staff also proposed a three-strike system where dangerous dogs on the loose could incur hundreds in fines before the dog would be kicked out of the city.
Commissioners thanked the public for their input, and some, like Commissioner Chase Locke, said they are in favor of removing the dangerous breed list from the proposals up for consideration.
“I appreciate that this is full, and that we have an opportunity to trim it down to what is fair and what is right,” Locke said.
Commissioners and city staff said they will continue to work toward possible changes in the coming weeks.