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Kansas City Council Opposes State Attempt To Void Local Animal Control Rules

Kansas City's city council is asking the Legislature not to pass a bill that would restrict local Missouri animal control ordinances.

Supporters say the bill was created to prevent cities from outlawing pit bulls. The proposed state law forbids animal control rules directed at any specific breed.

Pit bulls are not illegal in Kansas City, Mo., but they must be spayed or neutered and the city has a program offering the spaying and neutering at no cost to the owner.

Councilman Scott Wagner says it's a way to reduce the problem of abandoned and abused dogs.  He read statistics indicating that though pit bulls comprise only 6 percent of the total dog population, the breed comprises 50 percent of dogs abandoned by the public and are the breed that is most often the victim of abuse and neglect.

Several council members expressed frustration with a growing trend for the Missouri Legislature to try to override local city and county laws.

"It's not the first time they've tried it, and we've got to fight it every single time they try to take away any local home rule that we have," said Mayor Pro Tem, Cindy Circo.

Missouri lawmakers have already passed several gun rights bills the council opposed this year. On the day the council formalized the request not to pass the animal control limits, Gov. Jay Nixon signed another bill the council opposed – one limiting local control of the placement of cell-phone towers.

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