Updated City Ordinance Targets Loose Pets
MICHIGAN CITY - It took several months, but Krueger neighborhood residents desiring more control over loose-running dogs now have a city ordinance they hope will take a bite out of a problem with dangerous animals.
"It's a better ordinance than the old one," neighborhood association president Greg Tuel said Tuesday night. "It's a better goal to move toward creating a community of responsible pet owners."
Tuel has been working with City Council members and the Michigan City Police Department for nearly a year to improve the city's animal ordinance.
He said his Krueger neighborhood is besieged with dogs running loose and antagonizing - and sometimes attacking - residents. Tuel has told tales of children and adults being afraid to leave their homes because of menacing dogs loose in the neighborhood.
On Tuesday night, the council unanimously voted to approve a new animal ordinance that will inflict more severe penalties on dog owners who let their pets go unleashed.
The ordinance includes rules dealing with animals the city declares dangerous and how to deal with them and their owners if an incident is reported.
It also includes a schedule that would levy fines for every incident reported. The first fine is to be no more than $50, $100 for the second violation in the same calendar year and $150 for the third.
The fine will increase by $50 for every incident during the same calendar year and cannot exceed $7,500 in any calendar year.
The ordinance also lays out rules for the proper treatment of animals and exacts fines for improper treatment.
"This isn't only protecting the rights of pet owners, but of their pets as well," Tuel said. "This is forcing pet owners who aren't responsible to be responsible."
Contact Jason Miller at jmiller@....
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