Police put bite into leash law

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Selma Police Department is taking steps to put some bite into the city’s leash law.

Officers will begin strictly enforcing the law, according to Chief Jimmy Martin.

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

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

As a way to curb the problem, city animal control officers will pick 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.

While this step may seem extreme to some local residents, it’s in the best interest of the majority of citizens, as well as the animals.

And, if you need more incentive to follow the city’s leash law, think about

your wallet.

Violation of the leash law will carry a $25 fine and a $7.50 per day care and feeding fee. There will also be a $50 fee for a second pick-up and a $100 fee for a third-time pick-up.

There are separate requirements for owners of dogs that are considered a danger, or vicious.

Those dogs must be kept in a fence or a pen that is labeled “Vicious Dog.” The ordinance prohibits owners from taking those dogs for walks.

Martin said these measures are being taken to “ease the public’s minds” so that they don’t have to say anything to their neighbors. The ordinance allows officers to intervene on behalf of the public.

It’s a good move for the police chief to take these complaints seriously.

Residents should be able to walk along city sidewalks or through their neighborhoods without fear of being attacked by a stray dog.

If you have complaints, call the SPD 874-6611.