From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 7, Number 28 - October 11, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

New Ordinances Pass For Animal Control

by Tiffany Turner

With the two newly passed ordinance changes for animal control in Pinedale, Pinedale residents might want to pay extra attention to how long of a leash their dog is on and how much barking it does.

Ordinance 423 amending section 6.04.210 of the Pinedale Municipal Code has created an enhanced penalty for all nuisance dogs within the town limits, which was an ordinancd that passed on third and final reading at Monday’s Town Council meeting.

“It didn’t use to be considered a misdemeanor,” Animal Control Officer Julie Early said. “It was always just a $25 fine.” This is no longer the case. On top of the misdemeanor charge, the fine is now handed out in escalating amounts. If your dog has not been spayed or neutered, your fine will now be no less than $100 and no more than $750.

Although the penalties are less for a fixed animal, it too has increased penalties. Now, instead of a $25 staple fine, your first fine can be no less than $25 and from there, the fines double with each subsequent conviction, with the cost never exceeding $750.

Anyone who has been ticketed must be able to prove that the animal is spayed or neutered or they will be charged the fee for a dog that has not been fixed.

In addition to the increase in rates, the misdemeanor term now allows the court to revoke the owner’s permit to have a dog and not be issued a new one for one year.

“(Owners) can’t just shrug it off anymore,” Early said. “Now the court would be able to take the dog away.”

The other amendment, Ordinance 422, which amends 6.04.010 (B) of the Municipal code, deals with the restraint of dogs within town limits. Up until recently, having a dog under verbal control was allowed. With the new changes, a dog must be on no longer than a 10-foot leash and under the control of a responsible person. This provision, however, does not apply to dogs in vehicles, cages or similar enclosures.

“We have needed a leash law on (the) main street for a long time,” Early said. “The dogs come so close to (harming) others…and who would be responsible for it – the owners.” Early said she has had many complaints ranging from dogs attacking leashed dogs to dogs harassing children on bikes as they meander through town and to school. “Not to mention how close they come to getting hit,” Early added. The new policies took affect on Oct. 9.

“Since it’s been passed, I know a lot of people don’t read (the papers) so I am going to have to inform them,” Early said. “My policy is a verbal warning, a written warning and then a written citation and a citation for every offense after that.”

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