Pit bulls continue to be a topic of discussion in the city of El Dorado.

Pit bulls continue to be a topic of discussion in the city of El Dorado.

The El Dorado City Commission revisited the issue during their meeting this week when they heard a report on Stafordshire bull terriers in the community.

The commissioners had received information from Midge Grinstead, Kansas state director of the Humane Society. She had provided some of the better regulations she has found that were adopted by cities.

“It in interesting to read our animal control ordinances that were revamped and updated in 2007, yet one of the city’s she sent was almost an exact mirror to ours where it pertains to dangerous dogs,” said Brad Meyer, public works director. “Both of the cities recommended we look into have a lot of the same ordinances, but they do not have any breed specific legislation to them.”

Commissioner Nick Badwey asked if the only change they needed to make was to change El Dorado’s ordinance to allow bull terriers would be to not be breed specific.

Meyer said his recommendation was if they were going to remove the breed specific language, they add in other language with specific requirements for keeping certain breeds of animals considered to be dangerous. Those things include updating their address if they move.

How to determine the breed was again brought up and the city currently accepts a statement from a veterinarian saying a dog is not a pit bull, but to be sure, a $100 DNA test would have to be done.

“For me, it seems putting a ban on that breed specifically isn’t as consistent as if more enforcement on dangerous dog breeds,” said Commissioner Chase Locke. “I went into our last meeting really thinking we need to maintain it. After a pretty productive conversation, I think we’re doing it the wrong way. I think we should look at different breeds and keep an eye on them. I know it scares people and I think they just have a bad rap because in all the movies usually the bad dog is the pit bull. I think it goes back to who your owners are and how they are raised.”

Commissioner David Chapin also was in favor of making some changes.

“My opinion,” Chapin said, “is you take the owner with an 80-pound dog, you can turn any dog into a mean dog that bites and attacks. I know working for the past 40 years visiting homes and going to homes there are certain dogs that I ran across that weren’t pit bulls that I didn’t want to mess with.”

Commissioner Bill Young said he was interested in having them look at extra steps to take to own specific dogs.

“I think we can move away from breed specific bans, but that doesn’t mean we have to move away from breed specific legislation,” he said.

Meyer agreed, saying they would rather know going into a home where these “dangerous” animals were rather than be surprised by them.

Mayor Mike Fagg suggested having veterinarians look at the other ordinances and give their input.

Further information will be brought back to the commission on getting rid of the ban and moving toward lists and registrations.