Scott City to review dog code
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
By Matt Sanders ~ Southeast Missourian
The Scott City Council will review the city's restrictions against vicious dogs following an incident last week in which a pit bull in the Cloverdale subdivision attacked and killed another animal.
A concerned neighbor living in the area where the attack occurred spoke before the council at its Monday night meeting, stressing the need for the city to do something more to stop vicious dogs on the loose before more animals or even children are hurt.
The pit bull attack happened Sept. 11, when the dog owned by Tammy Cotner killed a Chihuahua owned by a neighbor, Scott City police chief Don Cobb said. Cotner was issued a summons for not having the pit bull tied up, which followed a warning issued in July for the same reason.
Cobb said his department commonly receives calls about strays and dogs at large, but rarely gets calls about attacks.
Dogs at large are considered nuisances under city code, like high weeds, but Cobb said the city issues far more summonses for out-of-control grass. "But a high weed's not going to bite you," he said.
During the discussion, council members, Mayor Tim Porch and city attorney Frank Siebert found several different sections of the city code that apply to the vicious dog issue.
Now the council's ordinance committee, chaired by councilwoman Leann Wilthong, will examine those ordinances and possibly draft an ordinance to clear up the city code.
Scott City has no law defining certain breeds as "vicious," but city code allows animals that pose a threat to humans or animals to be deemed "vicious" by a "licensing authority" -- the city. However the code doesn't specify where that authority lies.
Vicious dogs are required to be secured in an enclosure they can't escape from, inside a home or tied up to a leash no longer than 6 feet under the current code.