Springfield pit bull ban petitioners deliver thousands of signatures

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Petitioners say they delivered 7,883 signatures to overturn Springfield’s pit bull ban.

They only needed 2,228 registered Springfield voters to sign. If enough of their 7,883 are valid, then it could delay the implementation of the ban from its planned January 1, 2018 start date.

If they’re verified, Springfield’s city council could reverse their original 5-4 ruling to approve the ban, or they could send it to the ballot.

Until there’s a resolution, the ban would be essentially paused, meaning new pit bulls could be registered in Springfield after January 1 if it’s not resolved by then.

That ballot likely wouldn’t come until April.

Organizers of the petition say they are willing to work with the Council to come up with other ideas to address pit bull concerns.

"We're hoping that we can work with city council to come up with an alternative solution that will please everybody and still get the same thing done,” organizer Jeanna Callahan said.

The petition would only repeal the ban on new pit bull registrations. Micro-chipping, spaying and neutering, and vaccinating pit bulls would still be required even if this petition is successful.

The ban has been hotly debated since the ordinance was passed on October 2. Andrea Roach has two pit bulls within city limits.

"It was a mixture of anger and worry,” Roach says of her reaction to the ban passing. “And that anger turned into no, this isn't going to happen, we're going to fight this.”

She sought signatures, and says that people also sought her.

“I've had people chase me down to sign the petition - see that I'm wearing the shirt, chase me down,” she said. “My daughters have the same experience on campus at OTC. When she wears the shirt people come running, 'do you have the petition? I was to sign!' I'm very confident that we'll win this.”

Springfield’s city clerk, Anita Cotter, has 20 days to verify the signatures.

Members of the Springfield City Council couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.