Liberty voters repeal pit bull ban

At a pro pit bull rally Sunday, March 31, the ASPCA had a board for people to sign denoting those in favor of repealing the Liberty pit bull ban. Voters Tuesday, April 2, voted to repeal the ban.

LIBERTY — With 3,097 votes cast, unofficial results show 52 percent of those who voted Tuesday, April 2, voted in favor of repealing the breed-specific dog ban that has been in place more than 30 years, restricting pit bulls from Liberty.

Jessica McKinney, a local advocate and spokeswoman with the Liberty Pit Bull Alliance, said the efforts to get the initiative in front of voters took three years. She praised the Liberty City Council for strengthening the city’s dangerous dog ordinance.

“It was a slow process, but I think collectively we did it right,” she said. “All the steps are there to be the most safe.”

McKinney said the alliance and other friends are thrilled for the animals in the community.

“For many, it’s going to be a chance to allow families to be put back together,” she said, as some residents own pit bulls but are staying with others outside city limits. “I want to thank those who helped with education and those with an open mind who are aiding the community and our animals.”

Kathryn Kopanke, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals outreach manager with the government relations department, said ASPCA members had a great time working with the Liberty Pit Bull Alliance.

“We came in two weeks ago and initiated the canvassing effort,” she said. “We knew the ordinance was in place along with the 30-year ban, but we believe we were successful on the street and with the voters.”

To those who voted against the repeal, Kopanke said Liberty needs to trust in the dangerous dog ordinance, the strength of animal control officers and the local community that seeks better dog ownership.

Robert Hedrick, an opponent of the repeal who wrote a letter to the Courier-Tribune editor as well gone door to door, said the community will have to live with the consequences.

“I don’t know when, where or how, but there will be consequences because of irresponsible owners and the nature of the animal,” he said.

Southeast Editor Kellie Houx can be reached at kellie.houx@mycouriertribune.com or 389-6630.

(4) comments

Harve Morgan

What a win for the victims of the breed !! Almost half of the vote went against the pit bulls. Just think, money came in from major organizations, they went door to door, door hangers, advertising, But a unfunded grassroots movement got almost half the votes from telling the truth about pits in comments and wherever they could get a word in edgewise. Yes, quite the win over these major organizations who come in and influence local politics with their money. Very proud of our advocate volunteers, very proud. We won't back down, they realize that now.

Roary

Liberty was infiltrate by the multi-million dollar pit bull lobby. You had more citizens voting for the pit bull question than voting for the mayor. The pit bull lobby recruited the young, naive people to vote for the pit bull question. Mayor votes, 2,962 and pit bull question was 3,097-- the difference of 135 citizens. Pit bull lobby, Best Friends Animal Society, sent a post card to each Liberty household. ASPCA went door to door and called Liberty registered voters. This is just like in the day, when the powerful, rich tobacco company were telling people smoking was safe. In a year, your shelter will be full of unwanted and questionable pit bulls. Good luck to you. We tried to warn you.

Intrepid

In the US a pit bull kills a person an average on once every 13 days. They are weapons that can pull their own trigger.

David H

Single issue voters tend to carry these votes. Those citizens who didn't vote will come to regret it.
Sad to see this is how the ASPCA uses their resources. Why I stopped contributing.

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