By JEAN CARTER
Citizen staff writer
Clifton City Council members listened to a plea from resident Melena Morgan to either enforce their existing dog ordinance, or do away with it and let the community deal with dog problems on their own.
Morgan told the council a neighbor’s dog had gone into her fenced yard on three different occasions, killing nine chickens and a pet rabbit.
According to the city dog ordinance, a resident can be fined and or jailed for not keeping their dog on their own property and under leash or voice command, or if that animal becomes vicious and causes harm.
Mayor John Gailey explained although the city has had an animal control officer in the past, that officer resigned several years ago. Gailey told council the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office does not have an animal control officer either.
One problem with enforcing the ordinance, he explained, was where to keep the dogs once picked up and who would be responsible for picking them up. The city no longer has a kennel that complies with state requirements, he continued.
Council reviewed the ordinance and discussed having a day for registering dogs, with a tag and collar identifying the owner. Although no official complaint has been filed in the past two years, some residents have informally told council members of dog problems while walking or bicycling along city streets.
According to the city ordinance, owners with more than three dogs must have a kennel license and owners must be responsible for their dog’s actions. Morgan was advised that if a dog was on her property and attacking her animals, she had the right to shoot the dog.
“I was told that if I could prove whose dog it was, I would be reimbursed for my chickens, but I can’t prove it.” Morgan said, referring to the poultry as her “pets.” She also reported she had found the dead rabbit on Easter Sunday. “That ruined Easter for our family,” she said.
Morgan said her yard is fenced and although the chickens are free range, some were taken from cages. The rabbit, she said, was also grabbed from its cage.
This story is sponsored by Elect Tom Loertscher.
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