Leash law will be strictly enforced

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Selma Times-Journal

After receiving numerous complaints from residents about dog attacks and dogs roaming through neighborhoods, Selma Police Chief Jimmy Martin said Tuesday he will begin strictly enforcing the city’s leash law.

The new law, which went into effect Aug. 24, requires dog owners to keep their pets confined in a fence when outside and on a leash during walks.

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At a press conference, the city’s two animal control officers said they receive about 100 complaints a week about vicious dogs roaming around neighborhoods.

In order to control the problem, Martin said the city’s animal control officers will be picking up any animals they see running loose. They also have the authority to remove any dogs that continually cause a disturbance by barking or whining.

“We know this enforcement may cause some strain for our animal control officers, but hopefully this will keep the problems under control,” Martin said. “We’ve already made arrangements with the Selma Animal Hospital to take in the extra animals.”

If a pet is picked up by animal control, the owner will be found in violation of the leash law and must pay a $25 fine and a $7.50 per day care and feeding fee, according to Martin. There is also a $50 fee for second-time pick-up and a $100 fee for third-time pick-up.

“Before a dog is released, the owner must also provide us with certification that it has been vaccinated,” he said.

The new law also has strict requirements for the owners of vicious dogs.

A dog that is considered vicious must be kept in a fence or pin at all times that is clearly labeled “Vicious Dog.” The owners are also not allowed to take the dogs for walks, according to the ordinance.

With this strict enforcement, Martin said he hopes to see more dog owners keeping their pets on a leash and the dogs wearing “tags or collars showing they have been immunized.

“We want to ease the public’s mind by letting them know they don’t have to say anything to their neighbors (about vicious dogs),” Martin said. “We can help them.”

Martin said complaints about animals may be filed by calling the SPD at 874-6611 or the Selma Animal Shelter, located at 206 Medical Center Parkway, at 877-2204.