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Dog Gone It
Wednesday, March 4, 2009 • Posted March 4, 2009

Dear Editor,

It appears that the topic of pet owner responsibility really struck a chord with several residents. It’s Saturday, and I’ve already gotten letters, phone calls and email messages in which many instances of thoughtless pet owners are detailed. In each instance, the pet owner has been contacted and some attempt has been made to get the owner to step up to their responsibilities, and in each instance, the request has been ignored.

In an attempt to learn more about what City Ordinances might exist to protect citizens against unresponsive pet owners, I visited City Hall and spoke with the City Secretary (who maintains the ordinances). During the review, the City Animal Control Officer joined us. I was pleased to learn from her that even though the current ordinances provid little recourse (except for the leash law), there has been a huge effort over the last several months to put together a considerably more comprehensive package of ordinances dealing with this subject. Drawing from ordinances that are on the books in other towns close to Mason, the ACO has assembled what she feels is a “best of breed” collection of ordinances that addresses our unique needs. The City Attorney will now review the proposed ordinances. After his review, the City Council will review them and make their recommendations. Upon approval by the Council, the ordinances will be published and become effective.

So, folks, help is on the way! The Animal Control Officer saw the need and began working on this issue some time ago. While it will be a few months before the new ordinances become law, in the interim, I urge you to keep up the pressure on the owners of pets that are causing problems for you by speaking to them about their pets’ behavior. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from the City, and by all means, let your City Council representative know that you are in full support of reasonable, effective and enforceable nuisance pet ordinances.

Mike Innis

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