Springdale’s much-discussed proposed ordinance to outlaw dangerous animals is on its way to the City Council for approval.
The City of Springdale’s Ordinance Committee on Monday night approved the proposed ordinance, which outlines what should be constituted as “dangerous animals” and how owners and the animals should be penalized. The City Council will now pick up the proposal at its next meeting, scheduled for Feb. 11, said Ernest Cate, Springdale city attorney.
Ordinance committee members had initially discussed the possibility of a breed-specific ban, after an alderman said he wanted pit bulls banned from the city after his dog was attacked. Alderman Mike Overton and the committee members later backed off of the request and said they did not want a breed-specific ban.
The proposal states animals may be impounded or euthanized of they are determined to have bitten a person or another animal, or if they are suspected of carrying a disease transmittable to humans.
Aldermen speaking on the issue over the past month have focused on dogs as the subject of the ordinance, but the proposed ordinance instead makes “animals” the subject.
Several exemptions are built into the ordinance, such as the provision that states animals shall be exempt if they are protecting offspring or a person. They would also be exempt if injured, responding to pain or tormented or abused. A person committing a crime or teasing the dog would also exempt the animal from any action by the city, the proposed ordinance states.
Police dogs are completely exempt from the proposal, the ordinance states.
The proposal outlines several ways action can be taken against offending dogs. A complaint by another person that an owner’s dog has bitten or attempted to bite a person or animal unprovoked is enough for police or animal services to impound someone’s animal. The owner must then go through Springdale District Court to possibly retrieve the animal. A dog may also be impounded or euthanized based on a citation by police or animal services, according to the proposed ordinance.
An owner may be fined up to $500 per day for failing to follow the ordinance.