SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - Earlier this week, a St. Louis television station reported on what some residents and rescuers called an organized round up of pit bulls and other dogs that appeared to be dangerous in Sikeston.
Did that happen? Was it planned?
We went to the top to find out, asking Sikeston City Manager Doug Friend.
"The suggestion in the Channel 2 report was that we were literally going around taking animals away from citizens," Friend said. "And that is not the case and has never been the case."
Friend says they've had a dangerous dog ordinance on the books for years.
It requires the owners of pit bulls and a few other breeds to register those pets with the city.
They must also carry liability insurance, and keep their dogs in a fully enclosed pen if they stay outside.
He says animal control officers did seize three dogs this week, and do check with owners at least once a year to make sure they're still in compliance.
"Now, if an animal is out of compliance for whatever reason, running at large is not in compliance with the dangerous dog ordinance, certainly there would be a conversation, an ordinance would be presented and at that point, those citizens would have to comply", he said.
Friend also confirms a number of dogs were shipped from the Sikeston Area Humane Society shelter to no-kill shelters across the country, including one near St. Louis.
He believes that move, the seizures, and the TV report added up to fear people would start losing their pets.
"To suggest and sensationalize the way that the news reporter did is ... I'm at a loss for words" Friend said. "I mean, we're a rural town of 18,000. We try to serve the public to the best of our ability. Everything we do is tailored to the health and safety of our citizens after extensive public comment."
Friend says the dangerous dog ordinance came from public concern and with public input.
He says anyone with concerns or thoughts about how to improve the ordinance should bring them to the city council.