Possibly Stricter Rules For Pit Bull Owners

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Four legs and a big heart, that’s all Kona has to offer according to her owner Leigh Sterten. But along with the stereotypical mean streak, there’s something else Leigh says this pit bull is missing: Her city recognized status as a pit bull.

“We haven’t had to register her,” said Sterten. “American Bulldogs are exempt and that’s what we’re told our dog is.”

But that’s a loophole that’s slowly closing thanks to a new ordinance now being considered by the Springfield City Council.

“What we’ve got right now isn’t working,” said City Councilman Craig Hosmer. “We’re going to look at whether or not we stop the new registrations of pit bulls in the city of Springfield.”

But that now has pet owners, and healers concerned.

“We just worry something bad is going to happen to her,” Sterten said.

“Nobody’s going to want to bring their dogs out,” vet at Sunshine Animal Hospital, Dr. Bridget Zacharias said.

According to Dr. Zacharias, that kind of restriction could become dangerous.

“Getting these pit bulls the socialization they need. It’s going to really decrease that,” she said.

And with this kind of backlash, you’d think there’d be the threat of overturned legislation. But Hosmer says, while other communities have hit speed bumps, Springfield won’t likely be one of them.

“I don’t think there have been too many pit bull ordinances that have been overturned,” Hosmer explained.

“Legislative bodies make a determination that you can’t do breed specific legislation, and that would be a law that would prevent us from doing that. But there isn’t anything like that in Missouri.”

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