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Town and Country Will Reconsider Anti-Pit Bull Law

A local couple challenges Town and Country’s ordinance against Pit Bulls

Three months ago Dr. Kenneth Bentley and his wife Kathleen acquired a two-year old “mutt” from a friend. Their next door neighbor took an immediate dislike to the dog, based strictly on the dogs appearances, said the Kathline Bentley.

The dog resembles a Pit Bull, although not forbidden by Town and Country regulations, a city ordinance classifies a pitbull as a "vicious dog" and places additional restrictions on it because of the "vicious" label. The Bentleys said they don’t know what breed the dog could be and insists that the dog should be judged based on its actions, not its genetics. The Bentleys said their dog has never bitten anyone and is gentle with their family.

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After their neighbor called several times to report the dog being off leash—in a fenced in backyard—the Bentleys decided to hire a lawyer.

But rather than sue the city for an unjust law, they are trying to persuade the city to change its rules. The couple appeared with their lawyer at the Monday night Board of Aldermen meeting to answer questions regarding their dog.

The city is now considering changes to its code regarding dogs. The ordinance would still forbid animals from being allowed to run at large, trespass or be unrestrained by a fence or leash.

But most importantly, the city would remove wording to prevent residents from owning Pit Bulls or dogs that look like Pit Bulls.

Pit Bull Dog: And all of the following dogs:

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed of dogs

The American Staffordshire Terrier breed of dogs.

The American Pit Bull Terrier breed of dogs.

Dogs which have the appearance and characteristics of being predominately of the breeds of the dogs know as Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier or American Pit Bull Terrier.

The current city code restricts residents from owning “vicious” dogs. Vicious dogs are defined as those who have bitten someone without provocation, a dog that has killed another domestic animal or a dog who is a Pit Bull.

The city is also removing wording that would call for its own police department to impound vicious dogs, stating that they are not equipped to transport or house dogs. The city will instead align its code with St. Louis County and allow St. Louis County Animal Control to take care of dangerous animals.

The Town and Country Board of Aldermen approved this ordnance for its first reading on Monday night. They will make a final vote in two weeks on Monday August 6.

Editor's Note: This article was corrected Aug. 10 to explain that pitbulls are allowed in the city of Town and Country, but are classified as "vicious" and have specific guidelines based on that classification.

Jen July 25, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Hi Matt, you and I obviously follow the same sites. People like Eric most likely will never care enough to educate themselves. I just hope some day that he will realize, like many others have that were frightened of pit bulls, because he obviously is, that it's a false fright. When will people learn to look behind a dog breed at the circumstances of the dog's life? A friend who lives in the country had his chickens killed by the neighbor's Lab and then on a different occasion his ducks killed by a neighbor's Irish Wolfhound. So I suppose using Eric's logic, Labs and Wolfhounds should be banned too since they may next turn on humans. But the reality is that the neighbors are irresponsible letting their dogs run loose and destroying/killing others' pets.
Jen July 25, 2012 at 03:02 PM
So Eric, an article like the linked one makes you feel good? People serving our country suffer even more by military housing bans. http://stubbydog.org/2012/07/military-pet-policies-tear-families-apart/
Matt Cooke July 25, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Jen, I'm actually one of the admins for PBLN, so definitely try to keep my finger on the pulse of the issue. :) Unfortunately there is a lot of misinfomation for people that don't wish to (or aren't capable of ) thinking critically on the issue, that people like Eric will do a shallow google search and find. Ugh.
Jen July 25, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Ah, Matt, it all makes sense now where I've heard your name. I listen to PBLN blog talk radio and am one of the t-shirt recipients. Keep up the good work. I love PBLN.
Julie Green August 19, 2012 at 04:02 PM
NOT BEHAVIOR, NOT THE BREED!!! CAUSE IT'S THE HUMANS, WHO SENDS THE ENERGY TO THE BREED!!! STOP BSL FROM MAKING THE BIGGEST MISTAKE, THEY WILL EVER MAKE!!! IT’S NOT THE BREED OF AN ANIMAL, THAT’S THE PROBLEM!!! IT’S THE OTHERS, THAT INTIMIDATED WITH THE BREED!!! ONCE YOU ARE INTIMIDATED BY THE BREED, THAT SENDS THE ENERGY, THAT YOU’RE FEARING THE BREED!!! IF YOU DON’T FEAR THE BREED, THEY WON’T ATTACK, UNLESS THE OWNER SAYS THAT ONE WORD FOR THE BREED TO ATTACK!!! THAT’S ANY ANIMAL, NOT JUST THE BREED OF A PIT BULL OR ONES, THAT LOOK LIKE THE BREED OF A PIT BULL!!! YOU TRAIN THE DOG RIGHT, & LET YOUR DOG GO THROUGH TRAINING THE RIGHT WAY, & QUIT SENDING OFF ENERGY, THAT YOU’RE FEARFUL OF THE BREED, I GUARANTEE YOU’LL HAVE A LOVING PET OF A BREED, THAT WILL NOT ATTACK!!! JUST LETTING PEOPLE KNOW, THAT IT’S NOT THE BREED ITSELF, HUMANS HAS GOT TO BE AT FAULT TOO, IF THE BREED HAS TO SUFFER FROM BEING, WHAT GOD CREATED!!!

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