Kokomo City Council Revises Proposed Dog Fine Ordinance

Kokomo city council members are revising an ordinance that could increase fines for dog owners.

Dogs in a cage.

Photo: Gumdrop Sweet, flickr

The ordinance would charge people who do not properly restrain their dogs.

Councilman Mike Kennedy is on the committee that’s drafting the ordinance.  He says it would increase fines on dog owners if their dog bites a city resident or is found without the proper shots.

“The current ordinance was a 1960s ordinance or something in there. So the fine was like $5,” Kennedy says. “Well $5 doesn’t deter people from doing the wrong things.”

Kennedy says the new fine could be as much as $100 and would increase for repeat offenses.The revised ordinance could also eliminate a requirement for residents to register their dogs with the city. Council member Michael Wyant says the council would like to enforce the existing law but can’t because of budget constraints.

“There’s just not enough people to go around. I think that’s probably in every city,” he says.

Council members say the ordinance, which they hope to bring to a vote in January, should not change anything for the typical dog owner.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

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