The Crothersville Town Council is pulling the leash on vicious dogs and feral cats in the community.
Councilwoman Danieta Foster recently made some changes to the town’s animal ordinance and shared those with town attorney Jeff Lorenzo.
Those changes were announced during a recent council meeting, and the first reading of the ordinance was approved 4-0. Councilman Bob Lyttle was absent.
The biggest change is allowing residents within town limits to have only one dog that’s considered a dangerous breed, including pit bull, Rottweiler, German shepherd, Husky, Doberman Pinscher, Chow Chow, Great Dane, St. Bernard and Akita.
When outside, those types of dogs must be in a fenced-in area or on a leash at all times.
Feral cats were added to the ordinance. They also must be on a leash or fenced-in at all times.
According to the ordinance, a homeowner who fails to post warning signs for potentially dangerous and/or vicious animals faces a $50 fine.
The fine for allowing a dog or a cat to run at large or failing to restrain an animal ranges from $20 to $100 for the first offense. The fine increases for each subsequent offense within 12 consecutive months.
If a person receives three citations, he or she will be responsible for removing the dog or cat from town.
The police department will continue to pick up stray animals and issue citations. Town employees sometimes help pick up strays. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department has an animal control officer, but he does not pick up dogs within town or city limits.
With the dogs police officers or town employees catch, they either are returned to their owner or their owner comes and gets them. If the animal is impounded, the owner has to pay a fee.
Unclaimed dogs that aren’t vicious are taken to Red Sky Rescue, a dog shelter in Medora.
Town employee Chris Mains said at a previous council meeting that stray cats are a bigger problem in town than dogs.
The second reading and consideration of adoption of the ordinance changes will be during the next council meeting, set for 6 p.m. Jan. 3 at Crothersville Town Hall, 111 E. Howard St. Meetings are open to the public.
This is the first time in more than four years that changes have been proposed for the animal ordinance.
In August, the council discussed strengthening the ordinance to help control the number of vicious dogs in town and the cat population.
At that time, the ordinance didn’t limit the number of vicious dogs a resident could have.
What: Crothersville Town Council meeting, including second reading and consideration of adoption of changes to the dog and cat ordinance
When: 6 p.m. Jan. 3
Where: Crothersville Town Hall, 111 E. Howard St., Crothersville
Who: Open to the public