Dogs required to be on leash

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 22, 2004

By Tim Sturrock, Tribune staff writer

After years of dealing with loose dogs in Moscow and Oakland Townships, residents have what they need to give their new dog ordinance some bite.

On Tuesday, the Freeborn County Board of Commissioners voted to allow the Freeborn County Attorney’s office to begin prosecuting violators of the new law.

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The ordinance requires that dog owners have a license, keep their dogs tied up, and have them vaccinated, as well as other requirements. Those who violate the ordinance face fines, which go as high as $150 for a third offense. An animal control officer will enforce the ordinance.

Large aggressive dogs, that sometimes leave dead animals in people’s yards, have been a problem for years, said Don Davidson, an Oakland Township officer. A few years ago, a loose dog bit a child, he said.

Approval for an ordinance became stronger in the last year when a large untied dog killed a smaller tied up one. Some children are afraid of the dogs and one child, he said, who was knocked off her bicycle by a dog, is now afraid to get off the school bus.

The ordinance was approved by both township boards and will be locally enforced, but the county attorney’s office needed the permission of the county board.

Nelson doesn’t expect it will be that much work since the area is so small.