Council hears update on animal ordinance

Alderman Chris Aregood heard an update on the city's dog ordinance at the March meeting for the Camden City Council.

Aregood previously asked city attorney Michael Frey to bring information for other comparable cities' animal ordinances to update Camden's dog ordinance. A resident received a citation for offering a dog refuge until it could be re home, which was unsuccessful.

Frey brought ordinances from Arkadelphia, Smackover, Malvern, and Monticello, which all focused on humanely keeping dogs in ventilated areas with room to move with all pertaining to those claiming ownership or harboring dogs, according to Frey.

In the ordinances, two types of dogs are mentioned: vicious and dangerous. A dangerous dog shows signs of aggression by attacking or has actually bit or attacked someone, while a vicious dog is labeled by breed only.

Frey gave the example of pit bulls being the top breed in Camden under the vicious category. Restrictions for a vicious dog include a pin embedded in the ground, a sign posted, outside of fence with special leash with muzzle, according to Frey. Dangerous dogs have similar restrictions, he added

"It's quite an undertaking to own a pit bull (in Camden)," commented Frey, stating owners violating the ordinance restrictions usually attempt to make provisions for their beloved dogs. "Most people say it's not fair to label a dog as vicious if it hasn't attacked or bit anyone. But the issue stands to not wait until those breeds under vicious dogs become dogs in the dangerous category because then it's too late."

Frey wanted the council to consider increasing the impound fee and options for people to drop off dogs they cannot care for that will not result in receiving a citation.

Discussion ended with Mayor Charlotte Young telling the council to read over the material and make recommendations or questions by the April meeting.

Also during the meeting the following ordinance and resolution had first readings due to lack of quorum for the council with Alderpeople Ebony Gulley, Lawrence Askew, and William McCoy absent:

* Ordinance No. 03-24, an ordinance repealing Ordinance No. 07-02 assessing a lien on certain property located at 541 Greenwood Street NW, Camden, Arkansas.

The following resolutions passed by council:

* Resolution No. 14-24, a resolution declaring the structure located at 213 E. Wood Street a public nuisance and to order the removal of the same. Alderman Marvin Moore abstained.

* Resolution No. 15-24, a resolution authorizing the mayor to purchase a truck and trailer through an interlocal contract for cooperative purchasing; and for other purposes.

* Resolution No. 16-24, a resolution authorizing the mayor to purchase a Backhoe Loader through an interlocal contract for cooperative purchasing; and for other purposes.

* Resolution No. 17-24, a resolution awarding the bid for the purchase of scales for the Solid Waste Disposal Division of the Public Works Department.

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