Pet law shelved for now

2012-12-12T12:22:00Z Pet law shelved for nowBy Stacy Wemhoff Sun staff writer Columbus Telegram
December 12, 2012 12:22 pm  • 

The Schuyler City Council tabled the second reading of a proposed animal and dangerous dog ordinance to allow additional review by the Safety Committee.

Kay Russ attended the meeting Dec. 4 to voice her concerns about a provision in the proposed ordinance that limits the number of animals per household to four adult animals with no more than three adult dogs or three adult cats.

As the owner of five cats, Russ asked the council to consider a grandfather clause for current pet owners so they do not have to get rid of their pets.

"I think the current proposal would encourage abandonment of many animals thus adding to the problem of strays," Russ said.

Russ also talked about the importance of spaying and neutering pets and said the licensing fee should be higher for animals that are not spayed or neutered.

Council members also discussed whether the maximum number of animals per household should be increased.

City Attorney Dick Seckman said he was glad Russ attended the meeting to discuss the proposed ordinance.

"The more input we get, the better decision we can make," he said.

Still, Seckman urged the council to move forward on the dangerous dog ordinance.

"The citizens of our community are tired of walking down the street and being pestered by dogs," he said.

Seckman recommended several changes to the proposed ordinance that requires owners of certain breeds, including pit bulls and rottweilers, to muzzle the dog in public.

He said there should be an exception to that vicious breed provision for service dogs.

Seckman also suggested the council consider an effective date rather than the standard 15 days following final passage to allow pet owners to learn about the new laws and comply with them.

He said the council could remove the proposed cat licensing and total number of animal provisions from the ordinance and revisit those issues at a later time.

The council will revisit the issue following review by the Safety Committee.

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