Monday night at 7 p.m., the El Dorado City Commission heard ideas and opinions to possibly change the ban on certain breeds of dogs in the city.
The Director of Public Works in El Dorado, Brad Meyer, said the city gets requests to repeal the ban on Staffordshire Terriers, commonly known as pit bulls, every few years.
"Staff does research on what other communities are doing whether it's communities near to us or communities afar," Meyer said. From there, they present their ideas to the commissioners who will discuss a potential change.
Meyer said in the past, the commission has decided to leave the ban as is. Monday night, the commission did not vote on any changes and it hadn't planned to.
Meyer said it's important to know that the pet owners play a large role in dangerous animals.
"It totally depends on how the animals are cared for," Meyer said "A lot of times, the breed of the animal has very little to do with it." He said responsible pet owners should not have any problem.
Meyer said people who oppose the ban would say all dogs bite or that all dogs are dangerous. He said that is true, but there are other things to consider.
"All breeds of dogs can be dangerous. There's no one breed of dog that is any more dangerous," Meyer said. "With that being said, there are breeds of dogs that have the ability to inflict more harm on a human being than others."
Registered Veterinary Technician Kathy Daily said the possible dangerous breed list was an issue.
"You can't label a breed as that breed is all dangerous," Daily said. "It's stereotyping. It's not right. Any dog can be a biter."
The proposed list was what most people had an issue with Monday evening, including commissioners. Several commissioners said they weren't fans of the list because it doesn't acknowledge the dogs who actually are problematic. Rather, it punishes all dogs.
Other issues people had at the meeting related to how it would be possible to decide what breed a dog is and if they are dangerous. With many different mixes of breeds in dogs, some people asked the question of how a veterinarian is to determine if a dog fits under a breed on a list. Others talked about how difficult it would be to decide if a dog is dangerous. If a dog kills a rabbit that is in it's yard, they asked does that mean it is dangerous? Should it be viewed on the same level as a dog that attacks a child?
Meyer said the commission could consider several options if they decide to change the ban. Those could include a three strike system where pet owners have to pay fines for the first and second incident before the animal is kicked out of the city as well as good registration programs, altering, or microchipping.
Daily said she thinks the city should mimic Wichita.
"I would really appreciate if El Dorado would look at Wichita's pit bull ordinance because I think it's well done," Daily said. "To go from this absolute ban to no ban at all, I think, may not be a step in the right direction. But to do what Wichita does with microchipping, altering, a higher licensing fee."
Meyer said the last time the commission changed the animal ordinance was 2007. Others at the meeting guessed it may have been more recent than that. He said the commission does not adjust ordinances for one sentence, so if there is a change made, there will likely be other changes to the chapter of the ordinance as well.