Kahoka Council To Review Proposed Vicious Dog Ordinance

By Mike Scott

The City of Kahoka Board of Aldermen are expected to review a proposed ordinance placing new restrictions on pit bull and vicious dog owners living inside city limits.  The proposed ordinance, which was discussed at the board’s Monday, January 13 meeting, will be based on an existing ordinance from the City of Palmyra, which has been in force for several years.

Under the language of the proposal, all pit bull dogs would be considered “vicious dogs”, and owners of such animals would be required to annually register the animal with the Kahoka Police Department, provide photos of the animal, maintain $100,000 of liability insurance, and keep the animal inside, or, if outside, in a secure, locked pen with a floor and covering, or muzzled and leashed.  

The proposed ordinance, which is still under review and subject to revision, can be read at www.kahokamedia.com.

“People are going to have to do a lot of things to be able to have one of these dogs in the city,” said Alderman Joe Roberts.  “We’re also going to need a vicious dog board to review any vicious dog complaints.”

Earlier in the meeting, a Kahoka resident told board member that her neighbors have a pit bull that often runs loose.

“If the dog is out, call the police and report it,” said Alderman Orlie Yoder.

Trailer Tie Down

Kahoka resident Stacy Smith asked if the city could do anything about a mobile home which was moved onto the lot next to her property.  The trailer is not secured to the ground.  State statutes require that mobile homes be anchored, and the city will contact the owners and give them a deadline to comply.

Utility Vehicle Bid

The board approved the purchase of a John Deere side-by-side utility vehicle at a cost of $20,210.  IMI Equipment was the only bidder.

Meter readers

The board approved the purchase of new utility meter reading equipment.  The current readers were purchased in 1992, and obtaining parts and service is a challenge.  The new readers, which will cost $8500 for two will work with the city’s software and be compatible with new meters.

Irrigation Monitors

The city will be purchasing six irrigation monitoring units, at a cost of $30,000, to comply with Missouri Department of Natural Resources requirements.  The city reduced the volume in the lagoon by irrigating.  As previously reported, the city needs to expand the amount of irrigated land to reduce discharges from the lagoon.

“We have to do this,” said Alderman Roberts.  “Things are just going to get more serious with DNR.”

In other business, the board:

-Approved changing the intersection of W. Chestnut and N. Washington to a four-way stop.

-Agreed to get a price in install a half-step curb on W. Commercial near Trends By Shelia.  

-City Attorney Brent Bozarth said he is reviewing a new agreement with Kohlmorgan Hauling to provide trash pickup services for the city.

-Fire Chief Chris Blomgren reported the department is purchasing new radios ad nomex gear with grant funding.  Blomgren also reported that all the fire chiefs in the county were discussing creating a county-wide fire district.

-Appointed Brian Springer to the Sever Library Board.

-A resident questioned if the city was considering an ordinance on outdoor wood burning heaters.  Mayor Webber said the city was not working on anything at this time.

-A resident questioned if the city was considering zoning ordinances, and again Webber answered that the city was not working on anything at this time.

PROPOSED ANIMAL ORDIANCE–THIS WILL BE REVIEWED/REVISED AT UPCOMING MEETINGS.
City of Kahoka, MO

City of Kahoka, MO / Public Health, Safety and Welfare

DOGS OR CATS
    Shall be held and construed to mean all animals of the canine or feline species, both male and female.

OWNER OR KEEPER
    Shall be held and construed to mean any person having a right of property in a dog or cat, or who keeps or harbors a dog or cat, or who has it in his care, or acts as its custodian, or who knowingly permits a dog or cat to remain on or about any premises owned or occupied by him.

PIT BULL DOG
    Shall be held and construed to mean any and all of the following dogs:

    1.  The Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed of dogs.
    2.  The American Staffordshire Terrier breed of dogs.
    3.  The American Pit Bull Terrier breed of dogs.
    4.  Dogs which have the appearance and characteristics of being predominately of the breeds of the dogs known as Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, or American Staffordshire Terrier.

RUNNING AT LARGE
    Shall be held and construed to mean suffering a dog or cat to be off the private premises of the owner or keeper, or his agent or servant, and not on a leash or confined to the arms, motor vehicle, trailer or other conveyance of the owner or keeper, his agent or servant.

SERIOUS PHYSICAL INJURY
    Shall be held and construed to mean physical injury requiring medical treatment.

TRESPASSER
    Shall be held and construed to mean a person upon the premises of the owner or keeper of the dog in question without license or privilege to be upon said premises.

UNRESTRAINED DOG
    Shall be held and construed to mean any dog running at large, or, a dog on the premises of its owner or keeper but not confined to said premises by a leash, fence, structure or other means, that would prevent the dog from leaving such premises.

VICIOUS DOG
    Held and construed to mean any of the following dogs:
 
    1.  Any dog, whether or not running at large, and whether or not unrestrained, that without provocation has bitten any person not a trespasser causing serious physical injury to that person.
    2.  Any unrestrained dog, whether or not running at large, that without provocation has attempted to bite any person not a trespasser which would cause serious physical injury to that person.
    3.  Any unrestrained dog, whether or not running at large, that without provocation has placed any person not a trespasser in apprehension of immediate serious physical injury.
    4.  Any dog that has killed another dog, cat or other domestic animal without provocation, except that any dog killing fowl with or without provocation shall not be held construed to be a vicious dog.
    5.  Any pit bulldog.

 Vaccination and Tag.
The owner or keeper of any dog or cat in the City of Kahoka is hereby required to have such animals vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian and to procure a certificate of such vaccination from the veterinarian and to present such certificate to the Clerk of the Police Department on or before January 1 of each year; and the Clerk of the Police Department shall register such certificate which such registration shall remain in force until December 31 next following said registration; and upon registration, the Clerk of the Police Department shall issue a tag evidencing the registration and certificate of vaccination, and the owner or keeper shall securely attach the tag so issued to a collar to be worn continuously by the animal for which the tag was issued.

Tag Required.
It shall be unlawful for the owner or keeper of any dog or cat to permit such animal to remain in the City of Kahoka unless wearing the tag.

Running At Large Prohibited; Impoundment.
It shall be unlawful for the owner or keeper of any dog or cat to permit the same to run at large within the City of Kahoka at any time. Any dog or cat found without the tag  running at large shall be impounded.

Animal Waste Prohibited.
A.  It shall be unlawful for the owner or keeper of any dog or cat to permit such dog or cat to defecate on any public property or right-of-way, or on any private property other than property owned or leased by the person owning or keeping such dog or cat, subject to the following provisions:
1.  It is a specific defense to a charge of violating this Section that the person owning or keeping such dog or cat immediately removed the animal waste and properly disposed of it in a sanitary manner.
2.  It is a specific defense to a charge of violating this Section that the animal involved is a certified working animal trained to assist disabled individuals and that the person owning or keeping such animal has a disability which prevents the person from removing the animal waste and properly disposing of it in a sanitary manner.

Vicious Dogs Prohibited; Exceptions; Impoundment.
A.  It shall be unlawful to own, keep, harbor or in any way possess within the City limits of the City of Kahoka, Missouri, any vicious dog; provided however, that a vicious dog residing within the City limits on ?????????????, or any dog that while previously not meeting the definition of being a vicious dog, has by its subsequent behavior, become a vicious dog, may be kept within the City limits subject to the following provisions:
1.  Leash and Muzzle. No person shall permit a vicious dog to go outside its kennel or pen unless such dog is securely leashed with a leash no longer than four (4) feet in length. No person shall permit a vicious dog to be kept on a chain, rope or other type of leash outside its kennel or pen unless a person is in physical control of the leash. Such dogs may not be leashed to inanimate objects such as trees, posts, or buildings. In addition, all vicious dogs on a leash outside its kennel or pen must be muzzled by a muzzling device sufficient to prevent such dog from biting persons or other animals.
2.  Confinement. All vicious dogs shall be securely confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or kennel, except when leashed and muzzled as above provided. Such pen, kennel or structure must have secure sides and a secure top attached to the sides. All structures used to confine vicious dogs must be locked with a key or combination lock when such dogs are within the structure. Said structure must have a secure bottom or floor attached to the sides of the pen or the sides of the pen must be imbedded in the ground no less than two (2) feet. Also such structures must be adequately lighted and ventilated and kept in a clean and sanitary condition.
3.  Confinement indoors. No vicious dog may be kept on a porch, patio or any part of a house or structure that would allow the dog to exit such building on its own volition. In addition, no such animal may be kept in a house or structure when the windows are open or when screen windows or screen doors are the only obstacle preventing the dog from exiting the structure.
4.  Signs. All owners, keepers or harborers of vicious dogs within the City shall display in a prominent place on their premises a sign easily readable by the public using the words “Beware of Dog”. In addition, a similar sign is required to be posted on the kennel or pen of such dog.

5.  Registration. All owners, keepers or harborers of vicious dogs residing in the City of Kahoka on???????????????, or any dog which has subsequently become a vicious dog, must register their dog with the Police Department of the City of Kahoka annually on or before??????????????????) of each year; including providing the Police Department two (2) color photographs, each depicting a different pose of each animal clearly showing the color and approximate size of each animal; and including providing the Police Department proof of liability insurance as required by Subsection (7) below.
6.  Offspring. All offspring born of a vicious dog registered within the City of Kahoka must be removed from the City of Kahoka within eight (8) weeks of the birth of such animal.
7. Insurance. All owners, keepers or harborers of vicious dogs must provide to the Police Department of the City of Kahoka proof of liability insurance in a single incident amount of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00), or greater, for bodily injury to or death of any person or persons or for damage to property owned by any persons which may result from the ownership, keeping, harboring or maintenance of such animal. Proof of such insurance shall be provided to the Police Department at the time of the annual registration of each such dog. Such insurance policy shall provide that no cancellation of the policy, or no reduction in the amount of coverage of such policy, will be made unless thirty (30) days’ written notice is first given to the Police Department of the City of Kahoka. An effective insurance policy with the coverage and in the amount specified herein must be maintained by the owner, keeper or harborer of such dog at all times. If the owner of a vicious dog is a minor, the parent or guardian of such minor shall be responsible for securing the insurance required and will be liable for bodily injury to or death of any person or persons or for damage to property owned by any persons which may result from the ownership, keeping or harboring of such animal.

Procedure For Declaring Vicious Dog.
A.  If a written complaint is filed with the Animal Control Officer or a Police Officer alleging that a dog is a vicious dog as defined in Section 205.010, a written notice shall be issued to the owner or possessor of said dog, that said dog shall be designated as a vicious dog, subject to the provisions of Section 205.050, and advising the owner or possessor of said dog that the owner or possessor of said dog has five (5) days from such notice to request, in writing, a hearing before the Vicious Dog Board to appeal such classification as a vicious dog. The Vicious Dog Board shall consist of the Chief of Police, the Mayor and a member of the City Council. The written request for hearing shall be filed in the office of the City Clerk. If a written request for hearing is not timely filed, the dog that is the subject of the complaint shall be deemed a vicious dog and said dog and its owner or possessor shall be subject Fines.
B.  Upon the filing of such written complaint as provided herein, said dog shall be impounded.

C.  The Vicious Dog Board shall hold a hearing within seven (7) days of the filing of a written request for hearing to determine whether or not said dog is a vicious dog.
 Testimony of the person or persons filing such complaint, the owner or possessor of such dog, and any other person or witness possessing pertinent information shall be permitted at such hearing.
D.  If, after hearing, the Vicious Dog Board determines that said dog is a vicious dog as defined, then said dog and its owner or possessor shall be subject to Penalty of Code Violations

E.  The Vicious Dog Board shall issue a written finding within five (5) days after the hearing.
F.  The decision of the Vicious Dog Board shall be effective immediately. The owner or possessor of said dog shall be entitled to judicial review of such decision, as provided in Section 536.100 to Section 536.140, RSMo. Proceedings for review may be instituted by filing a petition in the Circuit Court of Clark County, Missouri, within thirty (30) days after the mailing or delivery of the decision of the Vicious Dog Board.
G.  Notwithstanding judicial review of the decision of the Vicious Dog Board, said dog shall be impounded at the expense of the owner or possessor of said dog and not removed until ten (10) days after the judicial review becomes final, unless the owner or possessor complies with the requirements.

Duty To Impound.
It shall be the duty of the Chief of Police, the City Police, and any other person of the City of Palmyra, especially designated by the City Council and the Mayor for such purpose, to take up  any dog or cat running at large, or any vicious dog and to impound the same. In effecting the capture of any dog or cat, the officers aforesaid are authorized and directed to use traps, nets, tranquilizer guns or any other humane method.

Cost of Impoundment.
Costs of feeding and keeping dogs or cats impounded shall be paid from the City Treasury.

Every officer impounding a dog or cat under this Chapter shall, within twenty-four (24) hours after such impounding, enter upon a registry open to the public, and available to view at the Police Department of the City, a description of such dog or cat, including breed, color, and approximate size, and the date apprehended, and if the owner or keeper is known, the name and address of such owner or keeper; or the owner or keeper shall be given actual notice of the impoundment of such dog or cat before disposition of such dog or cat.

Reimbursement of Costs.
The owner or keeper of any dog or cat impounded under this Chapter may reclaim the same by paying to the City Clerk or Police Clerk, or other official especially designated to receive the same, a sum sufficient to reimburse the City for its costs in impounding such dog or cat and keeping it impounded.
 

Term of Impoundment.
It shall be the duty of any officer impounding any dog or cat under this Chapter to keep the same impounded for a period of five (5) days, unless such dog or cat shall be reclaimed by its owner or keeper under Section 205.090 of this Chapter. If after the expiration of five (5) days from the date of such impoundment, such dog or cat shall not have been reclaimed, the same shall be put up for adoption or destroyed in any humane manner.

 Penalty.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this Chapter shall, upon conviction, be fined not less than five dollars ($5.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each offense, and every day on which a violation occurs or continues shall be considered as a separate offense.