Pratt City Commission voted 4-1 to lift a law banning pit bull dogs from living in the city limits of Pratt.
It's an issue that has been on the city agenda for months, possibly years, but in a 4-1 vote taken Monday, May 21, Pratt City Commissioners voted to strike a breed-specific dog ban from the books and replaced the words "pit bull" with "dangerous" in the new ordinance.
Commissioner Jason Leslie voted against the new ordinance stating that in his previous job as a police officer he had been on many calls where pit bull dogs were the reason for trauma and injury.
"I have done a lot of research on this and every piece of information I read is that pit bulls are dangerous dogs," Leslie said. "My position on this is that we do not lift the current ordinance, we just need to enforce it correctly. If we lift this, it could very well open us up to liability. I'm more concerned about the condition of our children and elderly than I am about a breed of dog."
Leslie presented statistics to the rest of the commission, compiled by Animals 24-7 from September 1982 to December 2016. The reports stated pit bulls caused more bodily harm in attacks by a ratio of 4,693 to 588 (the next highest breed - Rottweilers).
Mayor Doug Meyer commended Leslie for his research and statistics but said it was time for the city to move forward on this issue, placing his support on the side of lifting the pit bull ban. In a roll call vote commissioners Gary Schmidt, Don Peters and Lucas Kumberg all voted to approve the new dangerous animal ordinance, lifting the pit bull ban in Pratt.
In other business, commissioners:
* approved the extension of a city water main on the east side of city limits to meet a line being brought in by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism
* annexed land that borders city limits on the north-east side, owned by the entity putting in a solar farm for city benefit.