Merriam Woods, MO - This past Tuesday, the Merriam Woods Board of Trustees passed a tough ordinance on pit bulls without an ounce of protest. Police Chief Jerry Pagan says, "I’m just surprised that nobody said a word -- either for or against. Since we proposed this ordinance, I have not had one Merriam Woods resident say they were opposed to it."
The ordinance allows pit bulls to remain within city limits if the owner complies to: penning, registration, proof of sterilization and a microchip implant. Failure to comply subjects the pit bull to immediate impoundment and disposal. The Merriam Woods ordinance models nearby city Springfield, which passed similar legislation over a year ago. Since Springfield enacted the law, vicious dog complaints have fallen by 33% percent.
November 9, 2007 - The law, which comes on the heels of a dog-bite case in which a resident was attacked in his front yard by two pit bulls, further complements the leash law passed earlier this year that requires all pets to be leashed when away from home.
If passed, the regulations would be effective immediately and would impose several requirements on current pit bull owners. Every pit bull would be required to be registered with the Merriam Woods Police Department. Proof of current rabies vaccination, sterilization and microchip implantation would be necessary to register the animal, along with a $50 fee. In addition, the police department would be required to photograph the dog and maintain a registration file for every dog.
To protect the public, pit bulls would also be required to be kept indoors or outside in a locked pen on property that is posted with warning signs. If the pit bull is being transported to or from its home, it will be required to be leashed and muzzled and locked in a secure, temporary enclosure in a vehicle.
Any pit bull that is not registered or housed according to the new law would be subject to immediate impoundment and disposal. Appeals as to whether the animal is a pit bull dog as defined by the ordinance would be ruled on by the Municipal Court judge. - Springfield News-Leader, November 9, 2007