Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Public Safety Committee Considers Revision to Dangerous Dog Ordinance

The Public Safety Committee, part of City Council (pictured) convened Monday night/FTM file

by Gina Holt
FTM City Reporter 

The Fort Thomas Public Safety Committee met Monday night to discuss revising the city’s dangerous dog ordinance. City Administrator Don Martin presented a sample proposal for the committee to review and discuss. All of the council members except for Roger Peterman were present.

“The current ordinance does not provide true public safety from dogs that could be considered dangerous,” said Councilwoman Lisa Kelly. “Council wants to pass an ordinance that protects residents as well as other animals from dangerous dogs.”

The sample ordinance defines a dangerous animal as any animal that:
  • causes death or serious injury 
  • has attacked or bitten without provocation
  • has been declared to be dangerous or vicious by a professional attending to a person who has been attacked
  • has been trained for fighting
  • is conserved by a dangerous animal officer (animal control or police) to take defensive action

If the ordinance passes and a dog is deemed dangerous, the owner could be required to register the dog with the city by providing photos, provide proof a $100,000 insurance policy on the dog, and proof of vaccination.

The dog would also have to be spayed or neutered. Upon appropriate registration, the city would issue a license for an annual fee of $500.

Some council members were concerned the annual fee might be too high. “Keep it at $500 as an incentive to rid of it,” says Martin. “We don’t really want dangerous dogs in the city.”

Council also discussed whether a dog that attacks and kills or seriously injures a person should be evicted from the city immediately or deemed dangerous. Council had to end the discussion before finding a solution, in order to start the regularly scheduled council meeting.

Martin says he will draft a new ordinance based on the discussion for council to review.

Before the meeting ended, Councilman Ken Bowman suggested requiring dogs to be spayed or neutered in order to visit the Highland Hills Dog Park.

According to the Austin Humane Society, 97% of dogs that bite people have not been spayed or neutered. Council agreed with this suggestion. Mr. Martin stated that, for such a requirement, the Recreation Committee would need to meet to discuss and draft an ordinance, to be voted on by council.

The next Public Safety Committee and Recreation Committee meetings have not been set at this time.

3 comments:

  1. Why does Roger Peterman even show up at all at this point? He was blatantly absent through this entire process. He should have not been able to vote at all on this issue, it's clear he read nothing.

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  2. It was a safety committee meeting. Since he is not a member of the safety committee he did not attend that meeting but was present at the full council meeting.

    Also, if you read the substance of the article, there was no vote on the issue. A sample proposal was presented to the committee for review and discussion.

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  3. I love how Roger wanted to "respect the committee process" for the public safety committee recommendation but did not follow suit with the city admin. requirement to live in ft. thomas. Taking care of their own, i guess. can't wait for new blood on council.

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