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  1. #1

    TX-Dangerous Dog Ordinance Takes Effect

    By Justin Cox
    Killeen Daily Herald

    Nailing down an effective animal control ordinance has council members leaning toward a city policy directed at controlling the people as much as the pets.

    Council members suggested that recent tactics have been like treating the symptoms and not the disease.

    There's no getting around it: Animal control is 95 percent violent dog control, and that means pit bull control.

    But control of pit bulls is just the problem, because state law prevents any city from singling out breeds in ordinances.

    Tuesday night, members of the Killeen City Council agreed to give the issue of dangerous and vicious animals back to the animal advisory committee so that it can somehow figure out a working policy that will fix the concerns council members have about animals that threaten public safety.

    City Attorney Kathy Davis said one city in Texas passed a pit bull ordinance, and then was forced to repeal it. But she said that no matter how the council chooses to revise the ordinance, it can't p$#@! anything breed-specific; it's strictly prohibited by the state.

    Councilman Juan Rivera said that when the item goes back to committee, it needs to figure out how to hold the owners responsible in such a way that it makes an impact on the problem.

    "It's the person, it's not the dog (who's committing the offense)," Rivera said. "We need to hold the citizens who own this type of pet responsible."

    George Fox, president of $#@!isi Animal Refuge in Killeen, gave a short presentation and handed each council member an information packet focused on pit bulls with statistics and prevention methods that work.

    "We're talking about a group of animals that you have to be very careful with. ? We're talking about irresponsible pet owners," Fox said. "We should consider targeting specific areas of the city. One of the things our organization is doing, we're preparing a plastic card for ordinance violations for police officers. We've got people all over town who won't tie their dog during the daytime, but as soon as they know the animal control has gone home for the night, they tie the dogs to a tree."

    That increases their hostility and prevalence to attacks, Fox said.

    Councilman Otis Evans said the city needs to find a way to reach the public so that people know what's acceptable and what's not, who to contact as a neighbor and what their rights are.

    "I think there's a key part that's already in the ordinance that alludes to the neighbors identifying threats and making that known to the appropriate parties," Evans said. "I think that's an information thing if they feel threatened, they need to know who to call. I think we need to get on the campaign trail. I've talked to people, and they want to know what the city is doing."

    He added that the city's efforts can only reach so far. It's up to the public to take action if they want results. They city needs to teach them how.

    In other council discussions, the fee for waste disposal will likely be upping monthly bills next year, at least slightly.

    City Manager Connie Green said the new hauling and disposal contract with Waste Management will increase expenditures by as much as $700,000, and "in all probability, there will be an increase in solid waste rates."

    Green said the disposal costs will be divided between the commercial and residential sectors and be based on the weight of the garbage for each area. Those increases will be passed onto the consumers, he said.

    The council also briefly discussed the sign ordinances for garage sales and real estate signs, and both topics are headed back to the committee level for evaluation.

    http://www.kdhnews.com/news/story.aspx?s=27329

  2. #2
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    Killeen to revise dangerous animal ordinancePosted On: Thursday, Feb. 5 2009 04:21 AM


    By Justin Cox
    Killeen Daily Herald


    You can keep a dangerous animal, but it's going to cost you.

    It's one of several proposed changes in the city's dangerous animal ordinance.

    The changes were presented Tuesday to the Killeen City Council during a workshop session.

    After five months of discussion, the city of Killeen is ready to approve the framework for the ordinance, which clarifies the definition of a dangerous animal and gives more options for owners and judges alike.

    For starters, the ordinance makes no distinction between vicious and dangerous animals, said municipal prosecutor Holly Clements, who presented the report to the council.

    It's all lumped into a single category. To qualify for that category requires some measure of evidence.

    An animal is considered dangerous if it attacks a human or another animal without provocation or approaches a human in a threatening manner. That's pretty much it.

    "The definition makes it enforceable, " said Councilman Larry Cole, chair of the animal advisory committee. "We need the help of the citizens to report and document where these dangerous animals are. So many people complain, but they don't give a name or an address."

    A veterinarian can also certify an animal to be dangerous.

    The ordinance does not yet address hotly contested practices like tethering, which many argue enhances the animal's aggressive impulses. And it doesn't address neutering or types of fences required. Those items will be covered by the committee at a later date.

    Cole said the city wants to establish the frame first, then work from there.

    The definition declares that an animal has the right to defend its turf if it is fenced in. An attack in that area does not constitute a violation.

    Cole said this portion of the ordinance is designed for dogs that have been known to jump fences. Once out of the enclosed area, the dog or other animal cannot attack to defend its property, not without real provocation.

    And though some argue that you can read between the lines a bit, the ordinance is not breed-specific; it does not point out pit bulls and is not intended to limit pit bulls in the Killeen area.

    The ordinance also does not apply to police dogs.

    Perhaps the biggest additions are of the legal variety, provisions for the owners of animals deemed to be dangerous.

    The old ordinance gave no middle ground for such animals * either they were euthanized or returned to the owner.

    This ordinance establishes clear guidelines for owners, including an appeal process for the hearing to review evidence and determine the animal's status and a course of action required to keep it.

    The course of action is extensive. The ordinance requires the owner to get liability insurance of at least $100,000, have the animal sterilized, register it once a year with animal control, identify it with a special external tag, such as a collar as well as an internal tag via a microchip implant underneath the skin, and provide proof to the animal control office.

    "If you own a dangerous animal, it's an expensive proposition to keep it," Cole said. "There's still a lot of work to be done, and it's a very contentious subject."

    Contact Justin Cox at jcox@kdhnews. com or (254) 501-7568.

    http://www.kdhnews. com/news/ story.aspx? s=31109

  3. #3
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    Dangerous Dog Ordinance in Killeen
    This article was posted Tuesday, February 10th, 2009 at 6:00 pm


    The Killeen City Council approved a dangerous dog ordinance after some residents complained that they didn*t feel safe walking in their own neighborhoods.


    The ordinance covers dogs that attack a person or animal, or approach someone in a threatening manner.


    Under the ordinance a dog could be euthanized, placed outside the city limits, or the owner can follow guidelines like retraining the animal at all times in a double enclosure with a concrete bottom.


    http://www.kcentv. com/?p=4128


    Killeen tackles new dangerous animal lawPosted On: Tuesday, Feb. 10 2009 05:30 AM


    By Justin Cox
    Killeen Daily Herald


    After five months of discussion, the city of Killeen is ready to approve the framework for its revised dangerous animal ordinance tonight, which clarifies the definition of a dangerous animal and gives more options for owners and judges alike.

    The changes were presented last week to the Killeen City Council during a workshop session, and are designed to help improve enforcement.

    The ordinance makes no distinction between vicious and dangerous animals, said municipal prosecutor Holli Clements, who presented the report to the council.

    The ordinance proposes that an animal is considered dangerous if it attacks a human or another animal without provocation or approaches a human in a threatening manner. That's pretty much it.

    The ordinance is not breed-specific; it does not point out pit bulls and is not intended to limit pit bulls in the Killeen area.

    The ordinance also does not apply to police dogs.

    Perhaps the biggest additions are of the legal variety: provisions for the owners of animals deemed to be dangerous.

    The old ordinance gave no middle ground for such animals ? either they were euthanized or returned to the owner.

    This ordinance establishes clear guidelines for owners, including an appeal process for the hearing to review evidence and determine the animal's status and a course of action required to keep it.

    The course of action is extensive. The ordinance requires the owner to get liability insurance of at least $100,000, have the animal sterilized, register it once a year with animal control, identify it with a special external tag, such as a collar as well as an internal tag via a microchip implant underneath the skin, and provide proof to the animal control office.

    Also at tonight's meeting, the City Council is expected to approve its new energy master plan, the first leg of a mission to meet a legislative mandate which requires all Texas cities, beginning this year, to implement conservation initiatives that effectively reduce energy consumption by 30 percent over six years, averaging a 5 percent annual drop.

    For Killeen, those savings amount to nearly $600,000.

    Killeen is expected to p$#@! the first series of steps in its meeting today, which will include the adoption of an energy master plan.

    The plan, presented by General Services Director Brenda Essenburg at Tuesday's workshop, is a culmination of staff work in recent months to conform with the guidelines of Oncor's CitySmart program.

    Contact Justin Cox at jcox@kdhnews. com or (254) 501-7568.

    http://www.kdhnews. com/news/ story.aspx? s=31210

  4. #4
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    ***permission granted to crosspost***

    TX-RPOA E-News
    From RPOA Texas Outreach and
    Responsible Pet Owners Alliance
    "Animal welfare, not animal 'rights'
    and, yes, there is a difference."
    Permission granted to crosspost.


    February 20, 2009
    The city says the ordinance is intended to outlaw tethering (particularly
    for pit bulls although they are not named) because they want to keep people
    safe. So they'll be turning all the pitbulls loose in their backyards to go
    over, under and through fences?
    ___________________________________
    http://www.kdhnews.com/news/story.aspx?s=31412

    Killeen looking to untie dogs within city limits
    Posted On: Thursday, Feb. 19 2009
    By Justin Cox
    Killeen Daily Herald

    A week after approving the framework of a revised dangerous animal
    ordinance, the city of Killeen is wasting no time filling in the missing
    holes.

    Now, the city is targeting the use of tethers, or ropes, as a possible
    prohibited practice within city limits.

    Municipal prosecutor Holli Clements said the outlawing of tethering was one
    of the main topics of discussion during the animal advisory committee's
    meeting Wednesday.

    She said the city could adopt the addition to the ordinance as soon as next
    week. The addition would move Killeen in line with Fort Hood, which has a
    similar regulation in place.

    "We're looking at going to a no-tie ordinance. Currently the ordinance
    allows for a pulley system ? so it's not tied to a single point. A lot of
    research shows that it tends to breed aggression in animals."

    It's no secret that the ordinance is intended to limit ties on dogs,
    particularly pit bulls, though the inclusion of such language in a law is
    prohibited. But the city is doing its best to get around that, while still
    keeping people safe.

    The City Council will also decide at its meeting next Tuesday whether it
    will increase its breeder permit of $5 per litter to $50 per litter.

    Contact Justin Cox at jcox@... or (254) 501-7568.

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