Finding the right house is hard enough, but when you also have a pit bull in the family, it can be especially challenging. Like many places across the country, St. Louis has numerous municipalities that restrict pit bulls from living there. And in some cities, like Florissant, they can actually confiscate your dog and euthanize it.
As the owner of two pit bull mutts myself, I’m not a big fan of these laws. In fact, my husband and I spent years worrying about the pit bull ordinance when we lived in Ferguson, because we happened to rescue a tiny puppy one cold February day and consequently fell in love with her.
Our sweet girl, Butchy (above left), is a mix of Borzoi, Jack Russell, Dachshund, American Staffordshire Terrier and something else I can’t remember, but that wee bit of pit bull was enough to make her illegal. Same for our dear Gertie (above right), another hodgepodge of breeds, who we found running down a busy road during a thunderstorm.
Both of our dogs are big ol’ couch babies – friendly, gentle and not aggressive or menacing in the least. Many people wouldn’t even guess they’re part pit. But the way a lot of these laws are written, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes even one drop of pit bull blood is enough, regardless of whether the dog is vicious or not.
So here’s the bottom line: don’t buy a house until you check the local ordinances! If you love your dogs like I love mine, you would never want them taken away from the family and banned from your household. Or worse, confiscated and killed.
Most of the local communities with pit bull laws are in North County, but Fenton, Eureka, Shrewsbury, Crystal Lake Park, Winchester, Troy and University City are on the list as well. And several cities also ban Rottweilers and other so-called dangerous breeds, so don’t think this applies just to pit bulls.
Earlier this year the Missouri legislature nearly passed a law that would prohibit breed-specific legislation statewide. But until it actually gets approved, be sure to check local ordinances and stay informed!
October is National Pit Bull Awareness Month, so if you know of anyone who could use a free spay/neuter for their pit, check out this awesome service from the APA. And of course, if you need a Realtor to help you find a community that’s bully breed-friendly, give me a call! I donate a portion of every dollar I make to local animal welfare organizations!