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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- After weeks of debate, the City Council approved a pit bull ban Monday night, KMBC's Kris Ketz reported.
The ban passed 5-1.
The new ordinance would ban new pit bulls in city limits. Owners of pit bulls already living in Independence will have to register and microchip the dog, and the pit bulls must also be spayed or neutered.
"We're not trying to have anybody get rid of their dogs -- believe me," Mayor Don Reimal said.
According to the new law, owners of pit bulls will also have to carry $300,000 in liability insurance and face stiffer fines and jail time if there is a problem.
The city ramped up its dangerous dog ordinance after three men were mauled by a pack of pit bulls in May.
Alan Hill was one of the men attacked and is still in a hospital.
"Nobody should have to go through what I've had to go through," Hill told KMBC.
He and his wife said they're relieved the ban was approved.
Some animal advocates and pit bull owners have spoken out against the ban, saying breed-specific bans don't work. The ban opponents said the city should focus on bad owners, rather than banning a breed.
Pit bull owner Sherrie Hooker cried when the council passed the ban. She said her dog has done nothing wrong and that she has trained her pit bull to be gentle around small children.
"Nobody else can come around me and tell me that my dogs aren't good, because they are," Hooker said.
Some pit bull owners said they are considering a lawsuit against the city. Others are collecting signatures to force a public vote on the issue, Ketz reported.
Lucy Young was the only City Council member to vote against the ban. She said the ordinance makes it too difficult financially on existing owners.
There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.