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Toledo City Council deals with dog nuisance - neighbors annoyed

November 21, 2012
By Jimmy Gillispie - Staff Writer , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Several items, including a dog nuisance, construction change order and library annual report, were discussed and approved by the Toledo City Council at its meeting last week.

Toledo resident Kellie Pansegrau came to the city council with another complaint about dogs running at large at 605 E. College St. She came to the Nov. 13 meeting in hopes of getting something passed to stop the dogs from running at children in the neighborhood. She said the dogs have attacked her dogs, too."

Pansegrau and two of her neighbors said there are two rottweilers and four dachshundes living at the nuisance address. They said the dogs are rarely, if ever, chained up inside the fence, which has holes in it where the dogs escape out of the property.

"They chased my daughter and my son," Pansegrau said. "They bark and they growl. My daughter got in our house before they could bite. My son was riding his bike and I told him to stop and stand perfectly still. Then she (owner) got the dogs under control.

"I'm putting up a fence to keep my dogs in my yard," she added. "But who's to say that's going to keep her dogs in her yard."

City of Toledo Attorney Nancy Burk reported there have been 12 voluntary statements submitted against the dog owners and that the owners have been charged and fined on three different occasions. The neighbors and Police Chief Bob Kendall thought the owners had been charged and fined six or seven times for an animal nuisance.

"There is case law all over the place and it's gone to court about what you do with dogs like this," Burk said. "They've gotten the message that they're not supposed to let them run at large. They pay the fines and go. Some towns have gone as far as saying dogs like this have to be removed from the city limits. You're about to that place with these dogs."

According to the City of Toledo city code, "at large" means off the premises of the owner and not under the control of a competent person, restrained within a motor vehicle, or housed in a veterinary hospital or kennel. The city code also says for annoyance or disturbance, that it is unlawful for the owner of a dog to allow or permit such dog to cause serious annoyance or disturbance to any person by frequent and habitual howling, yelping, barking or otherwise; or by running after or chasing persons, bicycles, automobiles or other vehicles.

Pansegrau and her neighbors told the city council that the dogs have chased after children walking in the neighborhood, mail carriers and children on bicycles. Burk read one statement that said children were being chased after being dropped off by the school bus. However, they said no one has been attacked or bitten, so the dogs don't fall under the vicious category.

"There will be an instance that happens that day, regardless if it be with a dog or child, and they will be cited," Pansegrau said. "Then that night, like they are defiant or above the law, they are still bringing them outside."

The city council discussed the topic and came up with a solution. They voted to have Kendall personally serve the owners a notice, giving them 15 days to contain the dogs or find a new home for them.

"I've seen them in our back yard," Council member Elmer "Skip" Wilson said. "I stood up and stared at the dog and it stopped. But you're also talking a 35-55 pound child versus a grown adult. I'm an animal lover, but I don't want to see anyone get hurt."

In other news from the meeting, the city council unanimously approved a change order for the Toledo Police Station project. The change order from Modern Builders is for $10,675 and it will add a Davis-Bacon wage requirement to the project. The change order is subject to the approval of the Stimulus Grant.

City Clerk Julie Wilkerson brought the item to the city council. She was informed that the city could receive some Stimulus Grant money for as much as half of the project expenses.

The city council also listened to a hearing from Dennis Appelgate about a nuisance at one of his rental properties. Appelgate requested the names of the complainants, but Council member Travis Mullen, who reported the nuisance to the council, wouldn't give the names to Appelgate.

He was also upset about the process and how it was handled by the council. He said someone could have called him and he would have taken care of the nuisance, instead of using him a letter from the city. His other complaint was the time frame of five days to abate the property or two days to request a hearing was too short. However, Burk said that is taken from the City Code and the same time frame is used in other surrounding towns of similar size.

One building permit was approved by the council. It was for John Janke to build a 10-foot by 16-foot room on Town Street. The estimated cost is $18,000.

The next city council meeting will be at 6 p.m., instead of 7 p.m., on Nov. 26. The council will be reviewing bids for the Reinig Center Farm Lease, which have to be submitted that afternoon to Wilkerson.

 
 

 

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