|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.