Edgewood Puts Some Teeth In Animal Control Ordinance
Terry Britt, Staff Writer
EDGEWOOD—Edgewood Police Chief Henry Askew whips out a document showing a breakdown of animal control complaints in the city of Edgewood from 2006 to present.
"You can see a difference," he said, pointing to the figure marking about halfway through 2008.
A year after a comprehensive rewrite of its animal control ordinance, the city is seeing a small
reduction in the calls to the police department about stray or noisy dogs, cats and other animals.
From 63 complaints filed in 2006 and 67 in 2007, Edgewood has seen just 28 filed through the first six months of 2008. That puts the issue on pace to drop by 16 percent.
Askew said the current ordinance included more specific language and restrictions the old ordinance did not have.
Among those changes were limits on the number of animals a person could own, acreage requirements for livestock and a ban on swine and poultry in residential neighborhoods.
"It has made a difference, especially after we appointed Jackie (Buccafurno) as the rabies control officer," Askew said. "She stays on top of the calls really close…
"Citations are being issued just as before, but I think the enforcement is better," he added.
The police department and municipal judge Anita Tucker say they are willing to work with anyone issued an animal-related citation.
"I love animals myself, so I want to work with people as much as possible," Tucker said. "But we also have to let them know that if they are going to continue violating the ordinance, they are not going to get repeat chances."
In the past, one of the most frequent problems was with certain residents keeping numerous dogs and cats.
"We had several people who would keep eight to 10 dogs or 15 to 20 cats and allow them to run loose," Askew said. "The biggest complaint was on cats because of the mess they can leave behind."
Now, residents are limited to five total animals in a single-family residence, three for duplexes and apartments.
Askew said most residents have complied with the changes.
"We’ve not met any real resistance," he said. "We give them 10 days to remove an animal if there is a problem.
"We’re not here to punish anybody but we have to protect the city and the animal, so at times we do have to write a citation," Askew continued.
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