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Bay Village cracks down on dogs at large

by Dennis Driscoll

To establish an effective remedy to address a serious initial dog attack as occurred this past summer, the Bay Village City Council revised ordinance section 505.01 regarding animals running at large. While the revised ordinance has the same running-at-large prohibitions as the prior ordinance, the revised ordinance has escalating penalties which provides Bay Village with broad authority to deter a future dog attack.

The running-at-large restrictions prohibit the owner of a dog, cat or other animal from allowing the animal to remain upon any public street or on any city park except under the reasonable control of a responsible person. The ordinance further requires that, while on private property, the animal be contained on the private property and not allowed to cross outside the property line.

Under the revised ordinance, upon an owner’s first violation of this ordinance, the owner is guilty of a minor misdemeanor and can be fined up to $150. Upon an owner’s second violation of this ordinance, the owner is guilty of a fourth degree misdemeanor, for which the owner can be fined up to $250 and sentenced to 30 days. Upon the third violation, the owner is guilty of a second degree misdemeanor, for which the owner can be fined up to $750 and sentenced to 90 days.

If the animal violates this ordinance and bites a domestic animal, the owner is guilty of a third degree misdemeanor, for which the owner can be fined up to $500 and sentenced to 60 days. If the animal violates this ordinance and bites a human, the owner is guilty of a second degree misdemeanor. If the animal violates this ordinance and seriously injures a domestic animal or person, the owner is guilty of a first degree misdemeanor and can be fined up to $1,000 and sentenced to 180 days.

Furthermore, upon a conviction for a second violation, the Court will have authority to place the owner on up to five years’ probation and impose any restrictions reasonably related to the overriding purpose of the sentencing, such as requiring obedience training.

At the Oct. 10 meeting of the Environment, Safety and Community Services Committee, citizens and City Council members expressed concern about owners allowing dogs to run free in Bay Village city parks and the need to educate owners as to the possible consequences of continuing to allow their dogs to run free. The number of dogs often running free in the park at Columbia Road was particularly cited as a concern. The revised ordinance could be appropriately used to effectively address this issue.

The Bay Village Council is in the process of conducting an overall review of Chapter 505 regarding animals, and it is anticipated that further ordinances will be revised in an effort to deter a minor animal incident from escalating to a serious animal incident.

Retractable Leashes: Dangerous And Deadly For Dogs And Humans

Consumer Reports first sounded the alarm, “Retractable leashes pose problems for people and their pets,” and it’s no exaggeration. Retractable leashes are wildly popular and are sold at every pet store or available online. People often choose them thinking it will give their dog a little extra freedom to sniff and poke around on walks. Unfortunately, the upside to this type of leash is far outweighed by the risks they pose.

A retractable leash is a length of thin cord wrapped around a spring-loaded device housed inside a plastic handle that fits comfortably in a human hand. A button on the handle controls the amount of cord that’s extended. As that cord plays out, the dog is less confined to walking beside you. Some cords extend up to 26 feet.

A dog at the end of a retractable leash can get far enough away from their human to get into trouble–able to run into the street or to make uninvited contact with other dogs and people. If your dog is on a retractable leash and approached by an aggressive dog, it’s hard to get control of the situation. It’s easier to protect an animal on a standard leash than one 20 feet away at the end of a thin cord. Too often, that cord can snap from the pull of a powerful dog.

When a retractable leash cord breaks, it can cause injury – often to the human at the other end. If the human grabs the cord in an attempt to reel in their dog, serious injuries can follow. People who have instinctively grabbed the cord have suffered burns, cuts, and even immediate amputation of a finger. Many people have been pulled off of their feet by a dog that reaches the end of the cord and keeps going. When this happens, or if you get tangled up in the leash, it frequently means a fall and “road rash” scrapes, bumps, bruises, broken bones, or worse.

Dogs have also been seriously injured by retractable leashes. When the leash runs out of line there is a sudden jerk on the animal’s neck that may cause neck wounds or burns, lacerated tracheas, or spinal injury. Dogs have been hit by cars darting into the road at the end of a retractable leash – still on their lead, but dead. Others have been injured getting tangled up with other dogs and bicycles. There have been cases of dogs getting twisted in the cord and having a tail or leg amputated by the deep cut made when the cord retracts. These things happen quickly, often too fast for the handler to react.

The bulky handle of a retractable leash can be pulled out of the hand by a dog intent on going his own way. That can mean a runaway dog. As if that in itself isn’t dangerous enough, the sound of the handle dropping scares many dogs and signals them to run. If the leash is retracting as the dog bolts, the handle is gaining on the frightened animal and can strike and injure it. You and your dog may be lucky enough to get through this scenario without an injury, but it could also create a lingering fear in the animal – not only of the leash, but of being walked. Who could blame them?

By their very nature, retractable leashes teach a dog to pull when on a leash because dogs quickly learn that pulling extends the lead. Dogs should learn to walk politely on a regular leash, and to stay close enough to their human to be safe.

These leashes have a tendency to wear out and over time will malfunction. The leash may refuse to extend or retract, or could unspool at will.

Renowned dog-training expert Cesar Millan has a strong opinion on use of retractable leashes, and says “Retractable leashes have a specific purpose. They were designed for certain types of tracking and recall training with dogs. You should NEVER use such a lead for just walking your dog.”

For your own safety, and that of your best canine friend, please dispose of that retractable leash and switch to a conventional one.
Read the full article at http://dogtime.com/uncategorized/33069-retractable-leashes-dangerous-deadly-dogs-humans#OO3jP3Qjuomtkcfw.99

Amended section 505.01, Dogs Running at Large

Last night, the City Council passed the proposed amendment to section 505.01, dogs running at large.  The amendment is limited to animals running at large.  In the simplest case of a dog or cat running at large with no aggravating circumstances, e.g., attacking another dog or person, the proposed amendment sets the violations as follows.  For the first offense, the violation is a minor misdemeanor; for the second offense, the violation is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree, and a misdemeanor of the second degree on the third or subsequent offense.  The Three Strike Rule, designating a dog as a dangerous dog upon the third violation of section 505.01, was dropped from the amendment and is not applicable.   I anticipate that the Three Strike Rule will be given further consideration in the overall review of the dog ordinances.  The amendment also provides for increased misdemeanor levels if the dog bites or seriously injures a person or another cat or dog.

Attached is a copy of the revised section 505.01.

A Committee hearing is scheduled for Oct. 10 at 5:30 p.m. to continue the overall review of the dog ordinances as well as the proposed legislation relating to the state medical marijuana act.  From my attending the meetings to date, I anticipate that the major issues will be whether to add the classification of “nuisance dog” and, if so, how to define a “nuisance dog” as well as the formulation of a Three Strike Rule.

Full Text of the Amended Section is Below

DRAFT 9-15- 16

ORDINANCE NO. INTRODUCED BY:

AN ORDINANCE

AMENDING CODIFIED ORDINANCE SECTION 505.01 DOGS, CATS, AND OTHER

ANIMALS RUNNING AT LARGE AND REPEALING SECTION 505.99 PENALTIES,

AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY

BE IT ORDAINED by the Council of the City of Bay Village, Ohio:

SECTION 1. That Codified Ordinance 505.01 which presently reads as follows:

505.01 DOGS, CATS, AND OTHER ANIMALS RUNNING AT LARGE.

(a) No person, being the owner or in charge or control of any dog, cat, or other animal, shall

permit or allow by any means or in any manner, such dog, cat, or other animal, to go or remain

upon any public Street or place within the City except when accompanied by a responsible

person and upon a leash. The length of a leash shall be no longer than that which is reasonably

necessary to maintain control of a pet and to prevent the pet from trespassing on private property,

or from chasing or attacking any person, animal or vehicle. As against the owner or person in

charge or control of any such dog, cat, or other animal, evidence that such dog, cat, or other

animal, was found at large upon any public street or place within the City shall be prima- facie

evidence of a violation of this section.

(b) No person, being the owner or in charge or control of any dog, cat, or other animal, shall

permit or allow by any means or in any manner, such dog, cat, or other animal, to go or remain

on any city park property without reasonable restraint and leashed and under control. Reasonable

restraint and under control is defined here as restraint which conforms to the animals weight,

size, and strength, being controlled by a person who is of suitable age, size and discretion to

control the animal.

(c) While on private property, it shall be unlawful to allow any dog, cat, or other animal,

outdoors on private property unless the animal is leashed, or contained in a fence or under the

control of a responsible individual. It shall be unlawful for any owner to allow his or her animal

to cross outside the property line of its owner to any extent, including reaching over, under or

through a fence. Any method of pet containment is not considered valid during a period of time

when failure or lack of maintenance renders it non-effective. Visible signage to an electronic pet

containment system must be posted.

(d) Whoever violates or fails to comply with this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor and is

subject to incremental increases in misdemeanor degrees with repeated offenses that occur within

the first twelve (12) months of the first offense.

(Ord. 03-07. Passed 4-7- 03.)

be and the same is amended to read:

505.01 DOGS, CATS, AND OTHER ANIMALS RUNNING AT LARGE.

(a) No person, being the owner or in charge or control of any dog, cat, or other animal, shall

permit or allow by any means or in any manner, such dog, cat, or other animal, to go or remain

upon any public Street or place within the City except when accompanied by a responsible

person and upon a leash. The length of a leash shall be no longer than that which is reasonably

necessary to maintain control of a pet and to prevent the pet from trespassing on private property,

or from chasing or attacking any person, animal or vehicle. As against the owner or person in

charge or control of any such dog, cat, or other animal, evidence that such dog, cat, or other

animal, was found at large upon any public street or place within the City shall be prima- facie

evidence of a violation of this section.

(b) No person, being the owner or in charge or control of any dog, cat, or other animal, shall

permit or allow by any means or in any manner, such dog, cat, or other animal, to go or remain

on any city park property without reasonable restraint and leashed and under control. Reasonable

restraint and under control is defined here as restraint which conforms to the animals weight,

size, and strength, being controlled by a person who is of suitable age, size and discretion to

control the animal.

(c) While on private property, it shall be unlawful to allow any dog, cat, or other animal,

outdoors on private property unless the animal is leashed, or contained in a fence or under the

control of a responsible individual. It shall be unlawful for any owner to allow his or her animal

to cross outside the property line of its owner to any extent, including reaching over, under or

through a fence. Any method of pet containment is not considered valid during a period of time

when failure or lack of maintenance renders it non-effective. Visible signage to an electronic pet

containment system must be posted.

(d) Whoever violates or fails to comply with this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor and is

subject to incremental increases in misdemeanor degrees with repeated offenses that occur within

the first twelve (12) months of the first offense.

(Ord. 03-07. Passed 4-7- 03.)

(d) Penalties.

(1) Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor on the first offense, a

misdemeanor of the forth degree on the second offense, and a misdemeanor of the second degree

on the third or any subsequent offense.

(2) Notwithstanding division (d)(1) of this section, if the animal bites a domestic animal without

provocation as a result of violation of this section, then whoever violates this section is guilty of

a misdemeanor of the third degree.

(3) Notwithstanding division of this section, if the animal bites a human without provocation as a

result of a violation of this section, then whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor

of the second degree.

(4) Notwithstanding division (d)(1) of this section, where the animal bites a human or domestic

animal without provocation and causes serious injury as defined by Ohio R.C. 955.11(A)(5), as a

result of a violation of this section, then whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor

of the first degree.

and present Sections 505.01 and 505.99 are hereby repealed.

SECTION 2. That this Council finds and determines that all formal actions of this Council

concerning and relating to the passage of this ordinance were taken in an open meeting of this

Council, and that all deliberations of this Council and of any committee that resulted in those

formal actions were in meetings open to the public in compliance with law.

SECTION 3. That this ordinance is hereby declared to be an emergency measure immediately

necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, safety and welfare, wherefore this

ordinance shall be in full force and take effect immediately upon its passage and approval by the

Mayor.

P ASSED:

_____________________________ CLERK OF COUNCIL

APPROVED:

_____________________________ MAYOR

9-15- 16

____________

NOTICE OF COMMITTEE MEETING

ENVIRONMENT, SAFETY, AND
COMMUNITY SERVICES COMMITTEE

Councilman Paul Vincent, Chair
Councilman Dwight Clark
Councilman David L. Tadych

Monday, September 12, 2016

6:00 p.m.

Conference Room
Bay Village City Hall

Agenda

Dog Ordinances and related issues

July Fourth Fireworks: Awesome for Humans, Terrifying for Pets

Loud noises can terrify pets, so don't include them when celebrations will include fireworks. The HSUS.

Loud noises can terrify pets, so don’t include them when celebrations will include fireworks. The HSUS.

Many people enjoy the booming sounds and flashing lights of fireworks, but they can be terrifying and overwhelming for pets, and possibly hazardous.

On the Fourth of July, so many pets are frightened and try to escape the sights and sounds that animal shelters around the nation report a dramatic increase in lost pets during the holiday.

Help your pets keep their cool: Follow our four steps for making them safe during loud—and hot—warm weather festivities.

1. Keep your pet safely away from fireworks

Our pets are more sensitive to loud noises, flashing lights and strong smells, so on the Fourth of July (and the days around it when people are likely to set off fireworks), it’s best to leave your pets safely indoors, preferably with a radio or TV turned on to hide jarring noises.

Even pets who are usually kept outdoors should be brought inside. And if you are going to an Independence Day event and cannot leave your pet unattended at home, keep her leashed and under your direct control at all times.

2. If your pet is scared by fireworks, ask a veterinarian for help

There are medications and techniques that might help alleviate your pet’s fear and anxiety. You can also try our suggestions for helping your dog cope with loud noises.

3. Protect your pet from heat stroke during summer festivities

Another reason to keep your pets away from the often noisy celebrations of summer is heat. High temperatures put your pet at risk of heat stroke, which can become deadly very quickly. Keep an eye on your pets and act immediately if you see any signs of heatstroke.

Never leave your pet in a parked car, even if the day doesn’t seem that warm. Even when the temperature outside is a balmy 72 degrees, the temperature inside your car can rocket to a fatal 116 degrees in less than an hour’s time.

4. Safeguard your pet with a collar and I.D. tag

All pets, even those kept indoors full-time, should always wear collars with ID tags. Indoor-only pets can become so frightened during fireworks displays that they may take desperate measures to escape the noise, including breaking through window or door screens. It’s also a good idea to have your pet microchipped.

If your pet does become lost, contact your local animal control and surrounding shelters immediately and follow the rest of The HSUS’s advice for finding your pet.

If you find a lost pet, either take her to the address on her tag or bring her to the local animal shelter so she can be reunited with her family.