The lawsuit filed on June 22 by Manchester resident Sheron McRoberts claimed the city's vicious dog ordinance was unfair because it deemed certain breeds, including pitbulls, as "vicious" dogs. At the time the suit was filed, the City of Manchester’s dog ordinance required breeds considered "vicious" to always be on a lead and it forbid them from running at large and unleashed, even in their own backyard.
(Read Previous Article: Manchester Sued Over Dog Ordinance)
After the suit was filed, Manchester, like many other surrounding St. Louis cites, updated its vicious animal ordinance to remove any breed specific qualifications. In October, Manchester Aldermen voted unanimously to remove the word "pitbull" from the city's animal control ordinance. Animals are now deemed "vicious" based on behavior only, not breed. Vicious dogs must still abide by the city's vicious animal restrictions.
(Read Previous Story: Pitbull Breed Removed From Manchester Vicious Dog Ordinance)
Court documents indicate the lawsuit challenging the ordinance was dismissed earlier this month by the plaintiff.
Manchester City Attorney Patrick Gunn tells Patch the plaintiff likely withdrew the lawsuit since the city's vicious animal ordinance has changed.
"I believe the lawsuit became moot when the city amended the ordinance," Gunn explained.
As previously reported by Patch, McRoberts challenged the City of Manchester’s dog ordinance in her lawsuit filed June 22, 2012.
The suit alleged that she has been unfairly and unconstitutionally penalized for owning two dogs, which her lawsuit refers to as “unknown mixed breed.” McRoberts' lawsuit can be read in the PDF portion of this article.
Patch was unable to reach McRoberts attorney for a comment Wednesday afternoon.
According to the Manchester dog ordinance, a "vicious" animal cannot run around loose, even in the backyard. It has to be on a leash no longer than four feet and must be muzzled. However, this is now a breed neutral ordinance and is only determined based on the conduct of an animal.
As previously reported by Patch, The City of Town and Country recently amended its vicious dog ordinance too after pitbull and breed issues arose. However, Town and Country removed its vicious dog ordinance and is now covered under St. Louis County's vicious dog ordinance that is only behavior specific, not breed specific.
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