After months of discussion, the Kokomo city council seems to have come to an agreement on how to modify its existing dog ordinance. Under the current ordinance, Kokomo residents must register their dogs with the city or face a small fine. City Council member Mike Kennedy says the city did not have the resources to enforce the penalty and it was only hurting the people who followed the rules.
“We decided that registration really wasn’t the way to go because we decided the only people who came in to register were the responsible dog owners and we weren’t after those people,” says Kennedy.
The ordinance will raise the fines for dog owners if their pet injures another city resident. Owners will be charged at least $250 for the first offense depending on seriousness of the case, with the fine increasing for the second offense. After the third incident, the dog will be taken from them and not returned.
Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight says even with the compromises made by different members of the council, the ordinance won’t please everyone in the community.
“There’s just a lot of interested parties—those that wanted to protect the animals. Those that wanted to protect the rights of the animal owners and the general public that may have to deal with a nuisance animal,” says Goodnight.
But Goodnight says he thinks the council has drafted a good ordinance that will improve on the current laws.