Citizens Speak Out On Dog Ordinance Concerns
By Mike Scott
Over a dozen Kahoka residents packed into the Kahoka City Hall on Monday night, June 15, for a public hearing on a proposed animal ordinance.
“We’re here tonight to get input from the public on what ideas you might have,” said Mayor Wayne Blum. “Our current ordinance does not suit the judge, so we have to do something.”
City Attorney rick Roberts explained that this meeting was not address any specific current problems; rather it was to get input as to what the public wants in an ordinance.
Michelle English asked the council to include something to address dogs that bark while their owners are at work.
“If I were playing music that loud, I’d be breaking the law,” she said..
Former Mayor Gene Daniel commented, “I live next to a problem. It’s unfair to me that I can’t open my windows and doors.”
Mud Martin echoed that sentiment, noting the noise and odor in his neighborhood is ridiculus.
Kim McNamar, who with her husband Shannon raises boxers, expressed concern that an ordinance might limit the number of dogs they have. The McNamars have clean facilities for their animals, and have had no complaints from neighbors or the city.
One resident requested that an equal emphasis be placed on controlling cats in Kahoka.
Sheri Brunk suggested that any ordinance include requiring dog houses, specifying a chain length, and requiring a specific square footage per animal.
Carmen Skelley of the Humane Society said their organization is concerned with adequate care and control of animals, and works to prevent cruelty.
“Any good ordinance should be based on common sense,” Skelley said.
“This will be a process to make sure we have a strong ordinance that is constitutional,” Attorney Roberts concluded.
The board take the public’s suggestions, and work on developing a new ordinance. Another public hearing would be held to get additional public comment before any ordinance would take effect.