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Proposed Animal Ordinance Changes Available For Public Review
Kahoka’s Board of Aldermen have prepared a series of ordinances which modify the city’s animal control ordinances to better address animal issues within the city limits. A recent court ruling nullified much of the city’s current ordinances.
The first section of the draft ordinances creates definitions for various terms and phrases. For example “Abandoned” means “An animal is abandoned if its owner fails to proved such animal with the essential requirements for food, water, shelter and safety for a period of three days.” An “owner” means “any person owning, keeping or harboring an animal.”
The next section proposed concerns the disposal of animal waste, and requires owners to remove waste deposited by the animal in any public or private area not designed to receive such wastes, including streets, drainage ditches, sidewalks, parking lots, public parks and private property. The penalty for a first offense violation will be between $50-100. Subsequent violations will be fined $350-500. In addition, impoundment or forfeiture of the animal may be ordered by the Court.
The third section makes it a misdemeanor offense to permit an animal or bird to make loud and unseemly noises so as to disturb the peace or repose of any person. Violators can be fined $50-100 for their first offense, while subsequent violations will be fined $350-500. Again,impoundment or forfeiture of the animal may be ordered by the Court.
The fourth section limits the number of dogs or cats which can be kept as pets to a combined total of no more than four animals. Offspring of the animals may remain for up to ten weeks. . The penalty for a first offense violation will be between $50-100. Subsequent violations will be fined $350-500.
The fifth section makes it unlawful for any person to allow more than one litter of dogs and cats, being held as pets, per household in the City of Kahoka in any 12-month period.
The next section sets an annual fee of $75 for a special use permit for kennels in Kahoka. Kennels shall not be close than 50 feet to another dwelling, must have one fully enclosed shelter per animal, have an exercise area, comply with animal waste ordinances and provide adequate food and water. A first offense violation could bring a $100-250 fine. Subsequent violations would be fined not less than $500, and up to 90 days in the county jail could be assessed.
The next section allows law enforcement to seek a search warrant to enter private property to inspect, care for, or impound animals. Such warrant would be issued by the Clark County Circuit Court, Municipal Division, or other appropriate court.
The next section makes it unlawful to keep an animal on a chain or leash less than 15 feet in length, and requires swivels on both ends. It also requires that the animal be able to move freely, and all chains or tethers must be mounted in such a manner to prevent tangling of the chain or extending over an edge that could result in strangulation of the animal.
The final section requires every person who maintains an animal within the city to provided each animal with a clean, sanitary shelter, with four walls and a weather proof floor and roof. The shelter must be large enough for the animal to stand and turn around.
Violators would be subject to a fine of $100-250 for a first offense, with subsequent offenses being fined $250-$500.
The compete draft ordinances are available for public review at the Kahoka City Hall. The Board of Aldermen will likely hold a public hearing in the future, and consider the issues at a regular council meeting before any ordinance changes are enacted.