Pit Bull Registration to Begin in June

A new Springfield, Mo., ordinance requires sterilization and registration of all pit-bull-type dogs.

The city of Springfield, Missouri, which recently-passed legislation regarding pit-bull-type dogs, has announced that its new ordinance goes into full effect Oct. 16.

The Springfield City Council approved the new law on April 17, and on the 24th, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department began a public information campaign on the new requirements for American Pit Bull Terriers and other similar breeds that live within city limits.

The law applies to “any dog that is an American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier or any dog that closely resembles any of these breeds. Health Department Animal Control staff is experienced at identifying pit bulls and pit bulls mixes, but when there is a doubt, staff will err on the side of the dog owner.

According to the ordinance, which further strengthens current laws, city residents may keep pit-bull-type dogs within city limits only if they follow these regulations:

  • The dogs must be registered annually with a $50 fee;
  • They must be vaccinated for rabies;
  • Spaying or neutering is required, and;
  • Microchipping for identification purposes is mandatory.

Also, all pit-bull-type dogs must be kept in secure, fenced enclosures while on the owners property. A sign measuring at least 8 inches by 10 inches that reads Pit Bull Dog must be clearly displayed at all entrances to the property.

Starting June 5, and by appointment only, pit-bull-type dog owners can begin registering their dogs with the citys health department.

The appointments will take place at the Springfield Animal Shelter. Dogs may be microchipped by health department staff, unless the owner provides proof the procedure has already been conducted by a veterinarian.

For more information, call the county health departments information line at (417) 864-1166, or visit http://health.springfieldmogov.org

Posted: April 27, 2006, 5 a.m. EST

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