Residents Petition to Repeal Pit Bull Ban


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A petition to reverse the newly-passed pit bull ban is making its way through Springfield Wednesday.

There’s a difference between it, in paper form, versus other online petitions. Since Monday’s meeting when city council narrowly approved the ordinance banning new pit bull registrations, at least one online site has nearly 13,000 signatures to repeal the legislation. Yet signing online won’t change anything.

Anita Cotter, the Springfield City Clerk, is all too familiar with the petition process.    

“We have a lot of citizens that want to make their voice heard, and this is a very appropriate way to do that,” Cotter said.

But there is a modern-day caveat.

“We don’t accept online petitions,” she said.

Jennifer Silverberg, the owner of Fetch Pet Supplies and her employee, who’s a founder of the Springfield Bully Alliance, Madison Weiler, know that. That’s why Weiler sat down with the city to get the details of the petition right.

“If they actually want to make a difference, we need them to come sign the actual, legal petition,” Silverberg said.

The online petition now directs users to sign the printed version. With a 30-day deadline, the duo isn’t wasting any time.

“Yesterday counted as the first day since the ordinance was passed Monday,” Weiler said. “So, today’s day 29.”

The women have less than a month left to find registered voters who live inside Springfield city limits wanting to reverse the ban. They also tell people signing to make sure to print legibly, so writing can easily be read by the clerk.

“We need 2,228 I believe. We’re definitely going to shoot for over that amount,” Weiler said.

Cotter added, “They’ll submit those signatures to me, I’ll have 20 days by charter to certify that. At that point, I will notify them if it’s a sufficient or insufficient petition.”
Cotter says sufficiency usually comes down to the number of signatures.

“If we are short any amount of signatures, we’ll have an extra 10 days to collect those signatures,” Weiler said.

If they do get enough, city council has two options. It can either repeal the ordinance, or it will go to a city-wide vote.

Based on the petition timeline, citizens should know what’s happening by Dec. 6., including whether the ban has been repealed, will be voted on, or will take effect as scheduled on Jan. 1, 2018.

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