By Dedra Cordle
Stricter regulations for dog owners could be coming to Urbancrest.
At the May 6 meeting, village council announced they have received a proposal from the code enforcement officer to amend current legislation to grant the village more authority when it comes to dealing with owners whose canines are perceived to be a nuisance in the community.
According to council, the proposal needs to be taken into serious consideration due to the fact that the existing legislation regarding dog ownership does not allow the village to do much more than give a verbal warning to owners whose dogs have been seen menacing residents or repeatedly running loose throughout the neighborhood.
Councilman Kenneth Skeaton said he is in favor of the proposed amendment because it would allow the village to levy fines and or penalize repeat offenders of the ordinance.
“We want to be as dog friendly as possible, but we have to ensure that the public is safe and that owners are held accountable for their dogs,” he said.
Skeaton said the main goal of the proposed amendment is to encourage dog owners to be more responsible by following state law and keeping their pets leashed while they are outdoors.
“It will keep the dogs safe as well,” he added.
Within the past year, council has fielded many complaints regarding loose dogs in the community.
Resident Donna West came before the council in late 2012 to discuss the issue and relayed that many of her friends and family members have been chased throughout the village by loose dogs.
She said she had also been chased by loose dogs and was tired of being afraid to go for a walk around the neighborhood.
She requested that action be taken to address the matter and now it appears as if it will.
Council members said they intend to vote on the proposed legislation, which is currently being reviewed by the village law director, at the June 3 meeting.