Chesterfield may remove pit bulls from ‘dangerous animals’ ordinance
By: Carol Enright
Chesterfield is considering removing breed-specific language from its “dangerous animals” ordinance. Currently, any bull terrier breed of dog – or any mixed-breed dog that contains bull terrier – is considered dangerous and prohibited from visiting the city’s dog park. The proposed ordinance would eliminate all breed-specific language and consider animals “dangerous” on a case-by-case basis.
At the City Council meeting on Nov. 19, Mayor Bruce Geiger voiced his concerns about removing pit bull terriers from the ordinance and allowing the breed into the Eberwein Dog Park.
“I have past experience with what happens when a pit bull attacks another animal. It’s not pretty to watch, and it is virtually impossible to pull that dog off the other dog or the other animal,” Geiger said.
Councilmember Mike Casey (Ward 3) agreed, saying, “We’re allowing a dangerous animal, an animal that was bred for fighting, into the dog park. Bad idea.”
However, City Administrator Mike Herring and Councilmember Derek Grier (Ward 2) said the research provided to the city by the Chesterfield Police Department supports removing breed-specific language.
Herring added that he checked with other municipalities in St. Louis County with dog parks and “they have no language that bans any specific breed.”
“At some level, the onus needs to be put on the dog owner to be responsible,” said Councilmember Matt Segal (Ward 1). “And I’ve seen plenty of pit bulls that, while intimidating in look, are as gentle as the little teacup Yorkie that is sitting on your lap.”
The City Council will vote on amending the ordinance on Dec. 3.