City continues to work on loose dog issues
23 calls for service made in January
City of Cassville officials continue to wrestle with issues involving loose dogs in town, conversation still led mostly by resident Nadean Davis.
Davis, whose daughter, Kristie Preddy, was mauled by two dogs in August 2018, has addressed the animal control ordinance every month since except for December, when she had a medical emergency and a friend addressed the council in her place.
On Monday, she asked the council about an issue where she reported a loose dog on 11th and Harold streets that was wearing a collar and tag. While on the phone with police, a second dog came running up that did not have a collar.
Davis said the officer who responded told her if the collared dog was not causing a problem, police could not pick it up. She said the officer then picked up the dog without a collar, and the first dog crossed the street and sat on a porch.
At issue is the portion of the city’s animal regulations regarding animal trespass. The ordinance states “A person is guilty of animal trespass if a person having ownership or custody of an animal knowingly fails to provide adequate control for a period equal to or exceeding 12 hours.”
Davis quoted Mayor Bill Shiveley, who said in January, “If a dog is off a leash and off its property, that dog is considered at large [even if the owner is present].”
Shiveley on Monday said he misspoke and apologized for the error. With how the ordinance is written, he said a dog with a collar would have to be on another’s property for 12 hours or do something to cause a nuisance and be reported before police can impound it.
Dana Kammerlohr, Cassville police chief, said the city in January had 23 calls for service regarding dogs, possibly the most ever in one month.
Prior to the city calling for more active enforcement of the ordinance, police received an average of about five calls per month.
Kammerlohr said some of those calls resulted in citations, and two dogs were impounded in the city’s facility on Monday.
Another dog was taken to the Haven of the Ozarks Animal Shelter. A woman had also picked up her animals from the city facility on another occasion.
Steve Walensky, Cassville city administrator, said he’s happy with residents for working with the city.
“As we get these calls and learn more, we will probably be making changes to improve our enforcement,” he said.