In Liberty, Missouri, it is be unlawful to keep, harbor, own or possess any pit bull dog, with exceptions for pit bull dogs already residing in the city. Such dogs may remain as long as the owner complies with certain requirements, such as proper registration, proper confinement, the use of a leash and muzzle, the posting of "Beware of Dog-Pit Bull," keeping $50,000 liability insurance, and taking identification photographs. Any dog found to be the subject of a violation may be subject to seizure and impoundment.
Sec. 4-24 . - Keeping of pit bull dogs prohibited.
Sec. 4-25 . - Penalty for violation of chapter.
(a) Prohibition; definition. It shall be unlawful to keep, harbor, own or in any way possess within the corporate limits of the City of Liberty, Missouri, any pit bull dog; provided, that pit bull dogs residing in the city on the date of passage of this section may be kept within the city subject to the standards and requirements herein set forth. "Pit bull dog" is defined to mean:
(1) The bull terrier breed of dog;
(2) Staffordshire bull terrier breed of dog;
(3) The American pit bull terrier breed of dog;
(4) The American Staffordshire terrier breed of dog;
(5) Dogs of mixed breed or other breeds than above listed which breed or mixed breed is known as pit bulls, pit bull dogs, or pit bull terriers;
(6) Any dog which has the appearance and characteristics of being predominantly of the breeds of bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier; any other breed commonly known as pit bulls, pit bull dogs or pit bull terriers, or a combination of any of these breeds.
(b) Standards for keeping already resident pit bull dogs. Pit bull dogs residing in the City of Liberty at the time of passage of this section may be kept by their owners within the city, subject to the following standards:
(1) Registration. Pit bull dogs residing in the city at the time of passage of this section must be registered with the city by the owners within ten (10) days of the passage of this section.
(2) Leash and muzzle. No person shall permit a pit bull dog to go outside its kennel or pen unless such a dog is securely leashed with a leash no longer than four (4) feet in length. No person shall permit a pit bull dog to be kept on a chain, rope or other type of leash outside its kennel or pen unless a person is in physical control of the leash. Such dogs may not be leashed to inanimate objects such as trees, posts, buildings, etc. In addition, all pit bull dogs on a leash outside the animal's kennel must be muzzled by a muzzling device sufficient to prevent such dog from biting persons or other animals.
(3) Confinement. All pit bull dogs shall be securely confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or kennel, except when leashed and muzzled as above provided. Such pen, kennel or structure must have secure sides and a secure top attached to the sides. All structures used to confine pit bull dogs must be locked with a key or combination lock when such animals are within the structure. Such structure must have a secure bottom or floor attached to the sides of the pen or the sides of the pen must be embedded in the ground no less than two (2) feet. All structures erected to house pit bull dogs must comply with all zoning and building regulations of the city. All such structures must be adequately lighted and ventilated and kept in a clean and sanitary condition.
(4) Confinement indoors. No pit bull dog may be kept on a porch, patio or in any part of a house or structure that would allow the dog to exit such building on its own volition. In addition, no such animal may be kept in a house or structure when the windows are open or when screen windows or screen doors are the only obstacle preventing the dog from exiting the structure.
(5) Signs. All owners, keepers or harborers of pit bull dogs within the city shall within ten (10) days of the effective date of this section display in a prominent place on their premises a sign easily readable by the public using the words "Beware of Dog-Pit Bull." In addition, a similar sign is required to be posted on the kennel or pen of such animal.
(6) Insurance. All owners, keepers or harborers of pit bull dogs must within ten (10) days of the effective date of this section provide proof to the City of Liberty of public liability insurance in a single incident amount of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00), for bodily injury to or death of any person or persons or for damage to property owned by any persons which may result from the ownership, keeping or maintenance of such animal. Such insurance policy shall provide that no cancellation of the policy will be made unless ten (10) days' written notice is first given to the City of Liberty.
(7) Identification photographs. All owners, keepers or harborers of registered pit bull dogs must within ten (10) days of the effective date of this section provide to the deputy city clerk two (2) color photographs (two (2) different poses) of the animal clearly showing the color and approximate size of the animal.
(8) Reporting requirements. All owners, keepers or harborers of pit bull dogs must within ten (10) days of the incident, report the following information in writing to the deputy city clerk as required hereinafter:
a. The removal from the city or death of a pit bull dog;
b. The birth of offspring of a pit bull dog;
c. The new address of a pit bull dog owner should the owner move within the corporate city limits.
(9) Sale or transfer of ownership prohibited. No person shall sell, barter or in any other way dispose of a pit bull dog registered with the city to any person within the city unless the recipient person resides permanently in the same household and on the same premises as the registered owner of such dog; provided, that the registered owner of a pit bull dog may sell or otherwise dispose of a pit bull dog or the offspring of such dog to persons who do not reside within the city.
(10) Animals born of pit bull dogs. All offspring born of pit bull dogs registered with the city must be removed from the city within six (6) weeks of the birth of such animal.
(11) Irrebuttable presumptions. There shall be an irrebuttable presumption that any dog registered with the city as a pit bull dog or any of those breeds prohibited by this article is in fact a dog subject to the requirements of this section.
(12) Failure to comply. It shall be unlawful for the owner, keeper or harborer of a pit bull dog registered with the City of Liberty to fail to comply with the requirements and conditions set forth in this section. Any dog found to be the subject of a violation of this section shall be subject to immediate seizure and impoundment. In addition, failure to comply will result in the revocation of the license of such animal resulting in the immediate removal of the animal from the city.
(Ord. No. 5320, § 4, 5-26-87)
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished as follows:
(a) For violation of Section 4-11 resulting in the biting of any human being by an animal found to be a "dangerous animal" within the definition of Section 4-1, the penalty shall be that provided by this Code with respect to misdemeanors generally.
(b) For violation of Section 4-11 resulting in the biting of any human being by an animal found to be of "vicious propensity," as defined in Section 4-1, the penalty shall be the maximum fine provided by this Code.
(c) For any other violation of this chapter, the punishment shall be that provided by the City of Liberty with respect to misdemeanors generally.
(Ord. No. 3556, 7-28-75; Ord. No. 5018, § III, 8-12-85)