Mt. Vernon Register-News

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August 17, 2013

City takes on dog ordinances

MT. VERNON — The City Council will be discussing not only an ordinacne to re-define what constitutes a kennel on Monday, but ordinances on animals running at large.

The council, during its meeting on Monday night, will hold a second reading on an ordinance defining a kennel to "be more in line with pet ownership." The change was prompted by an issue discovered in March in which a pet owner — whose dog had puppies — was informed by animal control he had too many animals and would need a conditional use permit for a kennel.

The council held a first reading on the ordinance earlier this month, changing the definition of a kennel and allowing "six or more dogs and/or cats over the age of four months."

While discussing the ordinance, City Manager Ron Neibert said additional changes to the animal control ordinance were being considered.

"There have been issues with animals running and being a nuisance," Neibert said. Neibert told the council the "leash law" for the city as it stands is vague and doesn't address the issue of animals running loose as well as it should.

The proposed ordinances state no animals will be allowed to "run upon any street, sidewalk, or any other public place or private property or upon the private property of another person not enclosed in a secure fence or enclosure" unless "restrained by a leash, cord, chain, not exceeding 10 feet in length or confined within a secure animal carrier or confined within a motor vehicle."

Further, animals will not be allowed to go on private property without the consent of the owner whether the animal is restrained or not.

If an animal is caught while running at large, the city will confine it at the Jefferson County Animal Shelter or city authorized facility, and it can be reclaimed for a $10 reclamation fee in addition to any other fees or charges imposed by the facility or authority.

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