Summertime reminder: Animal ordinance

By: 
Josh Presley
DTL Editor

There have been complaints on social media recently about dogs on chains in the city, as well as proper care for breeds considered vicious animals.
The city's animal ordinance classified Rottweilers, Pit Bulls, any mixed or cross-breed German Shepherds and Chows as vicious animals and requires they be confined in a secure enclosure. The ordinance required that every vicious animal be contained within a building or secure enclosure, and securely muzzled or caged when off the owner's property.
"Those dogs the ordinance considers vicious can't just be kept on a chain - that's illegal," West Point Police Chief Tim Brinkley said in a previous interview.
Any breed of dog running at large in the city limits is illegal per the animal ordinance, and can carry a $50 fine, but the fine doubles when the dog is considered a vicious animal. If the dog then attacks someone, it's a criminal offense for the owner, according to Brinkley.
"Animals the ordinance classifies as vicious animals really need to be kept in a four-sided enclosure with a 'beware of dog' sign," WPPD Animal Control Officer Steve Scott said in a previous interview.
Scott said he was more interested in educating animal owners than in taking their pets. He said he if had to pick up the animal, the shelter would hold it for five days, after which it would become the property of the shelter and the owner would have to adopt it back.
Scott said anyone with an animal control complaint should contact 911, so that it could be logged through the system. For more information about the city's animal control ordinance, visit www.wpnet.org.

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