Pit bull ordinance under attack in Lindsborg

Posted: Updated:
LINDSBORG, Kan. (SJ) -

A police officer found a large black-and-white dog running loose Nov. 6 and picked him up. The dog looked like a pit bull to the officer, so the dog has been banned from Lindsborg.

Angie Mitchell, who owns Marley, said her dog had gotten out of her yard through a broken gate that usually was blocked. The energetic dog was running around the neighbor’s new lawn and tore it up. The neighbor called the police.

Lindsborg City Administrator Greg DuMars said the city’s police officers are charged with animal control and have responsibility for making decisions about dog types. To appeal the officer’s decision, the owner will have to go to municipal court, he said.

First K-9 pit bull in Kansas takes a bite out of crime

Marley has been staying with Anne D’Andrea, owner of Lazy D Boarding Kennel, since Nov. 22 while Mitchell has been fighting city hall to get him back. He had been with friends and in another kennel until then.

The 3-year-old neutered male was registered with the city for the past two years, the first year as a mixed breed, the second as a terrier, Mitchell said. She also said that when she got Marley as a 6- to 8-month-old puppy, she called city hall to ask if there were any banned breeds and was told there were not.

D’Andrea has mounted a campaign to get the Lindsborg city ordinance banning pit bulls changed. One of her Facebook posts about Marley has reached almost 3,000 people.

She said there were no complaints about Marley: He’s not aggressive; he’s never bitten anyone, not even anyone trying to take a tennis ball out of his mouth. Mitchell said the same – no complaints, never a sign of aggression around other dogs, puppies or children.

“This dog should not be here,” D-Andrea said flatly.

Amanda Opat and Andrew Farrar at Puttin’ on the Dog pet groomers said customers filled two pages of a petition to let Marley go home.

Opat said she doesn’t have problems with pit bulls. She said she’s more likely to be bitten by Dalmatians, dachshunds, miniature Schnauzers and Chihuahuas.

The Lindsborg City Council will meet at 5:30 p.m. today to study the city’s pit bull ordinance, DuMars said. He said he doesn’t know how those eight people will vote, but changing the ordinance is not on the agenda for the regular 6:30 p.m. meeting. Council members could vote to let Marley go home without changing the ordinance, DuMars said.

The ordinance, passed in 1988, defines a pit bull is any one of a bull terrier and American Staffordshire terrier breeds of dogs; a dog of mixed breed or of another breed than listed which breed or mixed breed is known as pit bulls, pit bull dogs or pit bull terriers; or any dog which has the appearance and characteristics of being predominantly of any other breed commonly known as pit bulls, pit bull dogs or pit bull terriers; or a combination of any of these breeds.

D’Andrea said that description matches half the dogs in Lindsborg illegal.

“They have to do something about this ban,” D’Andrea said. “You cannot condemn a breed because of irresponsible people, and you can’t condemn a dog because of the way he looks, especially when he’s done nothing wrong.”

A certified animal behaviorist, Melissa Shyan Norwalt — who formerly taught psychology at Bethany College and now lives in Indiana — said Marley looks to her like a boxer-Boston terrier mix, although it is hard to tell just by looking.

DuMars said that makes no difference: Since Marley looks like a pit bull, he is one, in the eyes of the city. A pit bull is not a specific breed, but a type, D’Andrea and DuMars agreed.

“The point is that ‘bully’ breeds, and there are several, cannot be discerned by eye,” Shyan Norwalt said. “So the law is unfair. There is research showing that bully breeds are no more dangerous than others, too.”

Salina also has an ordinance banning pit bull types, passed in 2004. The Salina Animal Shelter uses a checklist of 32 characteristics to score an animal, said Vanessa Cowie, animal services manager. More than one officer will score the animal.

Shyan Norwalt said lots of dogs look like pit mixes but have none of the bully breeds in them. Cowie mentioned an American bulldog and boxer mix as an example of a dog that looks like a pit bull but is not.

Salina also has an administrative avenue to dismiss the case, Cowie said.

“We want to be absolutely sure,” Cowie said, “because you’re taking someone’s dog.”

  • NEWSNewsMore>>

  • The Latest: Boat victims mourned

    The Latest: Boat victims mourned

    Friday, July 20 2018 1:36 AM EDT2018-07-20 05:36:01 GMT
    Saturday, July 21 2018 9:38 AM EDT2018-07-21 13:38:31 GMT
    (Andrew Jansen/The Springfield News-Leader via AP). Rescue crews work at the scene of a deadly boat accident at Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo., Thursday, July 19, 2018. A sheriff in Missouri said a tourist boat has apparently capsized on the lake, lea...(Andrew Jansen/The Springfield News-Leader via AP). Rescue crews work at the scene of a deadly boat accident at Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo., Thursday, July 19, 2018. A sheriff in Missouri said a tourist boat has apparently capsized on the lake, lea...
    A Missouri sheriff says at least 11 people have now been confirmed dead after a boat carrying tourists on a lake in a popular vacation city capsized and sank.
    A Missouri sheriff says at least 11 people have now been confirmed dead after a boat carrying tourists on a lake in a popular vacation city capsized and sank.
  • DA: No charges in death of 5-year-old Lucas Hernandez

    DA: No charges in death of 5-year-old Lucas Hernandez

    Friday, June 8 2018 6:28 PM EDT2018-06-08 22:28:48 GMT

    The last page of a report provided to the media says, "In light of the death of the sole suspect in the death of Lucas Hernandez, no charges will be filed concerning his death in February of 2018."

    The last page of a report provided to the media says, "In light of the death of the sole suspect in the death of Lucas Hernandez, no charges will be filed concerning his death in February of 2018."

  • Wichita woman among 3 killed in Utah motorcycle crash

    Wichita woman among 3 killed in Utah motorcycle crash

    KTVXKTVX

    One of the victims was identified as 53-year-old Judith Murray of Wichita. She was riding a motorcycle driven by 50-year-old Jason Murray.

    One of the victims was identified as 53-year-old Judith Murray of Wichita. She was riding a motorcycle driven by 50-year-old Jason Murray.

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.

MORE SLIDESHOWS HERE

<'>
  • Most Popular Stories

    • Restaurant report card

      The concert Crewstview Bevco at Crewstview country club had several safety violations. Inspectors found strawberries covered in white and green mold. Tomatoes, pasta, ham and other food was being stored at unsafe temperatures and inspectors found old food debris was built up on the can opener and slicer.  This restaurant is found to be out of compliance.  Neighbors bar and grill on west 21st street needs to make some changes. Inspectors saw an employee touching raw eggs th...

    • MGN Online

      Half of Kansas at high risk for West Nile virus

      The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a high-risk warning for West Nile virus infections for half of the state.

    • Mom warns of Fortnite fraud after teen son's account was taken over

      A mother wants to help protect other families from scammers after her teenage son was allegedly duped while playing the competitive fighting game, Fortnite. Fortnite is a wildly popular multiplayer survival game where players join teams and battle up to 100 others to be the last person standing. Since its release last year, the game now has more than 45 million players, and according to research from SuperData, a provider of data and market intelligence on digital games, collected $3...
    • (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). People pray outside Ride the Ducks, an amphibious tour operator involved in a boating accident on Table Rock Lake, Friday, July 20, 2018 in Branson, Mo.

      Ticket mix-up put family on ill-fated Missouri tourist boat

      More than half of the 17 people killed when a tourist boat sank on a Branson lake were members of the same Indiana family, and they likely wouldn't have been on the ill-fated trip but for a ticket mix-up.
    • KTVX

      Wichita woman among 3 killed in Utah motorcycle crash

      One of the victims was identified as 53-year-old Judith Murray of Wichita. She was riding a motorcycle driven by 50-year-old Jason Murray.

    • Kansas woman recounts hours leading to Missouri duck boat accident

      As the community met to grieve for the 17 tourists killed riding on a duck boat across Table Rock Lake, Lyons, KS native, Becky Rombeck is counting her blessings. Her boat left just 30 minutes earlier than the ill-fated boat that capsized in a storm. “It’s just so scary. You, know you just did it and then 17 people are killed,” Rombeck said. Rombeck said the weather outside appeared to be perfect. “The weather was beautiful. You could see the clouds coming i...

    • Day care owner gets probation for trying to kill toddler

      Nataliia Karia, 43, received her punishment in Hennepin County court after pleading guilty to attempted murder and third-degree assault earlier.

    • Crews from multiple Missouri agencies are on the scene of a mass casualty incident with a "tourist-type boat involved," the Stone County Fire Department said in a statement.  Full Credit: Southern Stone County Fire Protection District

      As investigation into deadly duck boat incident begins, survivor describes almost drowning

      A day after a duck boat capsized and sank during a severe storm at a southern Missouri lake, killing at least 11 people, divers are resuming a search for six people who remain missing.
    • DA: No charges in death of 5-year-old Lucas Hernandez

      The last page of a report provided to the media says, "In light of the death of the sole suspect in the death of Lucas Hernandez, no charges will be filed concerning his death in February of 2018."

    • (Andrew Jansen/The Springfield News-Leader via AP). Rescue crews work at the scene of a deadly boat accident at Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo., Thursday, July 19, 2018. A sheriff in Missouri said a tourist boat has apparently capsized on the lake, lea...

      The Latest: Boat victims mourned

      A Missouri sheriff says at least 11 people have now been confirmed dead after a boat carrying tourists on a lake in a popular vacation city capsized and sank.