The better part of the Watertown City Council’s Public Works/Finance/Safety Committee meeting was spent pouring over the details of a reworked Dangerous/Vicious Dog ordinance. Members of the Animal Control Board presented the council with the details of the ordinance. Alderwoman Beth Mantey, who presented the ordinance, gave an overview of the new law in anticipation of the first reading which will come at the next Watertown City Council meeting. She said amending the ordinance was a very complicated process with the purpose to protect the public from unruly animals. She defined what a dangerous versus vicious dog is.
And a vicious dog?
Mantey says serious injury distinguishes between a dangerous and vicious dog. She says the investigation can happen in a couple of different ways.
An owner can launch an appeal but the animal will be impounded during the interim when the appeal is being handled.
Any appeal hearings will take place within a ten day time frame. The hearings will allow the owners and others to discuss the circumstances of any instance where a dog provokes a person.
The animal board is also looking at drafting a reckless animal ordinance alongside this ordinance. Mantey says this is a dog that has multiple declarations of having a reckless owner who is somebody who has multiple complaints against them and that many other communities have enacted. Alderman Glen Vilhauer thanked the animal control board for the work they put into the ordinance and added these comments.
No action was taken last evening.