Havelock to revisit rules on vicious animals

Published: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 04:59 PM.

“All this should be taken into consideration,” Murray said.

Murray complained about the fines as well.

“If a family can afford it, they can pay $1,000 to save the life of the animal. Now how many animal owners can afford $1,000?” she said. “Either the animal is put to sleep or they pay the $1,000. I think that’s ridiculous. Some arrangements should be made that are more feasible.”

Lewis said the city, responding to several dog attacks, made stricter rules on vicious animals in 2011 when he was a commissioner.

“We took what was an ordinance that really had zero bite and we swung the pendulum pretty far, I think, into one that had zero subjectivity and had a lot of teeth in it, no pun intended,” Lewis said. “When we did that, we said that we’ll see how this works for a while and then we’ll go back and revisit the ordinance.”

Lewis said that the time to look at the rules has come.

“We’ve had a few instances where we felt that our ordinances should have had a little more subjectivity than we had in the ordinance, so some of the commissioners said that they’d like to look at it again and see what our options are,” Lewis said. “They want to look at whether we’ve swung the pendulum too far and gotten too strict about vicious animals.”

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