How do I register a pit bull?
- Provide proof of current rabies vaccination.
- Provide proof of spay or neutering of dog.
- Dog must be microchipped. This can be done at our office at time of registration.
- Pay $50 registration fee.
CALL 417-833-3592 to set up an appointment to complete registration.
A proposed ban on pit bulls within the city limits of Springfield was not approved by voters. The outcome of the vote does not affect the existing ordinance, in effect since 2006, which places heightened ownership requirements, including registration, on individuals who own pit bull and pit bull mix dogs.
The pit bull registration ordinance remains in effect with the following requirements in the ordinance:
- Register your pit bull or pit mix annually
- Keep pit bull or pit mix safe at all times
- Post a sign on your property
- Keep the dog in a secured, six-sided enclosure while on your property
- Keep your pit bull or pit mix leashed and muzzled while not on your property
- Notify Animal Control within 5 days if the pit bull is lost, stolen, dies or has puppies
I live outside of Springfield, but bring my pit bull into the city limits for veterinary appointments or grooming? Do I need to register my dog?
Pit bull owners bringing their dogs into the city for veterinary appointments or grooming are not required to register their dog, but do have to follow the other requirements, such as muzzling and keeping control of the dog at all times.
My pit bull is a service dog. Do I need to register my dog?
Yes. Service dogs, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, are subject to local dog licensing and registration requirements.
What are the penalties for violating the city’s pit bull regulations?
The first violation is a minimum $500 fine or one year of probation and 100 hours of community service. Jail time is possible.
The second and each subsequent violation is a $1,000 fine or two years of probation and 200 hours of community service. Jail time is possible.
Animal Control can declare a dog a nuisance if it is found running at large twice or more in 12 months. Once declared a nuisance, the dog is registered for 24 months. If there are no issues in that time, the dog is no longer on the nuisance list.
Animal Control can declare a dog restricted if it bites a person in an aggressive way or if an Animal Control Officer witnesses consistent aggressive behavior in the dog. A neighbor can also petition the court for a restricted dog declaration.
Once declared restricted, the dog is registered for 24 months. If there are no issues in that time, the dog is no longer on the restricted list.
A dog is declared vicious by the court, following the observation of vicious tendencies from the dog. Most often, the court orders the disposition of a vicious dog—most often, euthanasia.
Animal Control can declare a person a reckless owner if three separate animal ordinance violations occur in 24 months. This declaration can also be the result of an animal cruelty investigation or if a person does not comply with the requirements of a nuisance, restricted, or vicious dog ordinance. Once a person is declared a reckless owner, they are not allowed to own any pets for 24 months.
In 2016, Springfield banned the continuous tethering of dogs. Here’s how to avoid a penalty from this ordinance:
- If your dog must be chained outside at times, make sure it has constant access to water and shelter.
- Bring your dog inside during harsh weather.
- Make sure your dog’s chain won't get caught on anything that could injure the dog.
Why ban continuous tethering?
- Dogs are naturally social. They are at their best when they have frequent interaction with humans and other animals. Without that interaction, dogs can become unhappy, neurotic, anxious, and often aggressive.
- Dogs on chains are easy targets for other animals, biting insects, and mean humans.
- Dogs tethered for long periods of time can become highly aggressive, which makes them a danger to the
people around them.
- Often times, dogs that are tethered outside continuously are also neglected in other ways. They may not
have adequate food, water, or shelter.