January 18, 2012 | LXXI, No. 42

City deals with two dog issues

It was a two-dog night last Tuesday at the Electric City Council meeting. One dog won and the other lost.

The two separate dog issues came out of skirmishes people had with different dogs while walking through the city streets.

The council voted to name one dog “dangerous” and elected to dismiss a second dog issue because there could have been a mistake in identity.

In the latter case, a 7-month-old Labrador-type canine, named “Mia” got a reprieve when about a dozen residents stood up and defended the dog.

Another resident, Jeffrey Brent, had charged that a dog, owned by Ruthann Olmstead, had aggressively charged him, baring its teeth while he was walking by the residence on 110 Crest Avenue.

After a number of statements supporting the dog, Brent acknowledged that the dog that attacked him was an adult dog. Olmstead offered at one time to bring the dog into council chambers so members could see for themselves how docile it was. The offer wasn’t accepted.

But council members were interested in the distinction between a large Labrador pup and a mature animal and voted not to declare the dog “dangerous.”

Another dog named “Gemini” wasn’t so lucky. This dog, owned by Jennifer Miley and in the care of Teresa Miley, who lives on Electric Boulevard, was declared “dangerous.”

Council members learned that the Mileys were rid of the dog and that it was now in another community.

Councilmember Bob Rupe argued that since the dog was no longer in the city, the council shouldn’t make any declaration. He said it would only cause the new owner an expense that wasn’t necessary.

Rupe who was opposed to tagging the dog “dangerous” asked: “If I hit someone, would that make me dangerous?”

Brent, who brought up the dog issue, responded, “That’s ludicrous.”

The majority of the council disagreed with Rupe and voted the dog “dangerous,” noting the dog could move back into the community. This will mean the new owners will have to let the city know where they reside now that they have a dangerous dog.

This issue with “Gemini” a large, dark-colored dog, came about when it attacked a small dog being walked on a leash past the Miley residence by owner by Rick Olberding.

Olberding’s dog was bitten on the neck. Olberding took his dog home, dressed the wound, and then took it to the veterinary clinic.

When a dog is declared “dangerous” it must be penned up, signs must be placed that can be read from 50 feet away, and the owner must carry a sizable insurance policy.

The council meeting attracted 23 people.

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