Ironton Aldermen remove Pit Bull prohibition from city ordinances

Responding to requests from a number of people attending the Ironton Board of Alderman meeting last week (Monday, March 12), the board voted to remove the prohibition on Pit Bull dogs in the city limits.

A “Pit Bull” is the common name for the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

In 1987, the City of Ironton adopted the prohibition along with a new Municipal Code it adopted at that time.

Off and on since then, citizens have raised complaints about the restriction and about the “breed discrimination” inherent in it.

Last week, citizens again broached the subject with the aldermen during the regular meeting.  

In the end, the board voted to approve Ordinance 637- An Ordinance Repealing Section 205.140 of the Ironton Municipal Code with Respect to the Prohibition  of Pit Bulls Within the City of Ironton, Missouri.

“This is something we have dealt with since I have been mayor,” said Robert Lourwood. “The aldermen came to a place where they thought we should allow Pit Bulls. I’m still against it. In fact, they passed the Ordinance in February, I vetoed it, and last week they overturned my veto. 

“Every year there is a bill introduced to the state legislature to prevent cities from having these ordinances – there is one pending again this year.  I think they are dangerous dogs and I think we have an obligation to protect the community.  But people have them and once they have them, the dogs become pets and part of their family.  So, I understand their angst about having to give up their dog.”

Residents must still comply with the permitting policies the city has in effect, but Pit Bull Terriers will no longer be singled out for prohibition.

Alderman Don Barzowski and Alderman Bo Layton voted in favor of removing the prohibition.  Alderman Russ Allen abstained. Alderman Gary Gardner was absent.