Clarkson commissioners pass wide-ranging dog control ordinance

After receiving numerous complaints regarding the failure of owners and keepers of dogs to control their animals, the Clarkson City Commission has unanimously passed a wide-ranging ordinance setting forth requirements for dog owners.

The highlights of the ordinance (not the totality of the seven page ordinance), passed after its second and final reading at Monday night’s Clarkson City Commission meeting, include the following stipulations:

A Vicious Dog is described as the following:

Any dog which constitutes a physical threat to human beings or other domestic animals by virtue of a known propensity to endanger life by an unprovoked assault or bite so as to cause serious bodily harm; or, any don which when unprovoked, in a vicious or terrorizing manner approaches any person in an attitude of attack upon the streets, sidewalks, or any public grounds or places; or, any dog which bites (to the extent of puncturing or severely bruising skin), inflicts injury, assaults or otherwise attacks a human being or domestic animal without provocation on public or private property.

Section of the ordinance pertaining to the Control of Vicious Dogs:

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to keep or harbor within the city a vicious dog that shall bite or fiercely attack any person or domestic animal while outside of its owner’s yard or enclosure or real estate.

All vicious dogs shall be confined in an enclosure. It shall be unlawful for any owner or keeper to maintain a vicious dog upon any premises which does not have a locked enclosure.

Section of the ordinance pertaining to the Control of Dogs:

It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or harbor within the city any dog that barks or yelps or otherwise make such noise as to disturb the peace and quiet of the people in the neighborhood or area where the dog is kept.

No owner, custodian, possessor or harborer shall permit any dog to run at large other than on its owner’s premises at any time unless under the direct control of the owner, custodian, possessor or harborer.

Section of the ordinance pertaining to the Enforcement of Restrictions on Vicious Dogs:

In the event that a public law enforcement officer or the dog warden has probable cause to believe that a vicious dog is being harbored in the city of Clarkson in violation of this article, he or she may:

Order the violation immediately corrected and city the owner or keeper to appear in court for the violation.

If the violation cannot be immediately corrected and the dog is posing an imminent serious threat to human beings or other domestic animals, the dog may be seized and impounded, in which case the owner or keeper will be cited to appear in court for the violation.

Section of the ordinance pertaining to the Impoundment of a dog:

Any dog found running at large within the city limits, unless under the direct control of the owner, custodian, possessor or harborer shall be taken up by the dog warden and/or other proper authority and impounded in the shelter designated by Grayson County and there confined in a humane manner for a period of not less than five days unless sooner claimed by its owner, custodian, or person entitled thereto.

The dog warden may humanely destroy or transfer title of all animals held after the legal detention period has expired and the animal has not be claimed by its owner, custodian or other person entitled to the possession thereof.

Section of the ordinance pertaining to the Provision of Necessities:

No owner shall fail to provide his animal with good wholesome food and water, proper shelter and protection from the weather, veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering and humane care and treatment. Any owner of animals shall maintain a clean and healthful shelter and living area for any animal being kept, which area shall be free of accumulated waste and debris so that the animal shall be free to walk or lie down with coming in contact with any such waste or debris.

Section of the ordinance pertaining to Penalties:

Any person violating this ordinance shall be punished by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $200 or be imprisoned in the county jail for not less than 10 days nor more than 60 days, or by both fine and imprisonment. Every day a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.

Any person found guilty of violating the provisions of this ordinance concerning owning a potentially vicious dog or vicious dog shall be fined not less than $250 and shall have the dog spayed or neutered within seven days of that finding.

To read or receive a copy of the complete ordinance, a request may be made to the city of Clarkson or the Clarkson Police Department.

By Ken Howlett, News Director

Contact Ken at ken@k105.com or 270-259-6000