WASHINGTON COUNTY (KFSM) – Washington County Quorum Court members tabled the Dangerous Animal Ordinance on Thursday (March 17), and it will not be revisited for at least a month, according to a justice of the peace.
In a 10-4 vote, quorum court members agreed to table the measure, after the meeting lasted more than two hours.
The proposed change would allow the public to report potentially dangerous animals before they attack, and would enforce stricter confinement laws within the county.
The public was given time to comment at the meeting.
One woman said she got her concealed carry permit specifically to protect herself from dogs while on walks. Others shared stories of being attacked by dogs in Washington County.
Justice of the Peace Eva Madison drafted the ordinance, and was hoping for a vote Thursday.
“Everybody wants to be outside right now, I mean you heard from all these people about dogs chasing them, tossing them off bikes, biting them, and we've made it so that we're going to keep the status quo,” Madison said. “All during the spring, all during spring break, while people want to be outside and want to be on their bikes and trails and we didn't do our part to improve the safety, for now."
Richard Holt, who was attacked by a dog last month, said he was shocked the court tabled the ordinance, and he plans to take action.
"I'm going to be emailing all the court members, for sure, to urge them to re look at this bill, urge all my friends and all my cyclist friends and all my running friends to do the same,” he said Thursday.
Nine people spoke publicly about the ordinance at the meeting.
Justice of the Peace Robert Dennis said one of his constituents, who lives south of Prarie Grove, spoke to him for about an hour on the phone about the ordinance. Dennis said the man is concerned about the ordinance because he doesn't want to spend money building a fence to keep his dog contained.
The entire ordinance is on the Washington County government website for the public to read.