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Council discusses vicious dogs

By Staff | May 13, 2015

Middlebourne council gave approval at the Monday, May 11 meeting for city attorney Gary Rymer, to research and draft a vicious and dangerous dog ordinance.

Mayor Charles DeLauder, gave copies of ordinances from Paden City and Wheeling to the council members to review and the subject was then opened for discussion.

Councilwoman Sue Peliken, said she would like for the ordinance to distinguish between vicious dogs and dangerous dogs.

According to Peliken, she has researched the vicious dog ordinances of other areas and many of them ban vicious dogs, in particular Pit Bulls and Rottweilers. She said on Easter weekend she had to call the sheriff’s department because a neighbor’s Pit Bull was running at large and had become a danger to her family and others.

“It has become a problem, at least twice this dog has broken it chain or rope or whatever it is that its tied up with,” Peliken said.

Peliken went on to say that there is a difference between vicious and dangerous dogs and she would like to see the ordinance specify the difference. She would also like to see the ordinance require them to be fenced in.

Rymer said there is a state code which deals with vicious dogs and is quite thorough. He said the problem is how do you enforce it. It was also mentioned by DeLauder that the town only has a part time officer.

Councilman Bill Jenkins said he was all for it and would also like to make it all inclusive and include stray cats in the ordinance. He said there are many cats running around causing property damage and they need to be controlled as well.

It was mentioned that the county doesn’t have a dog warden or a dog pound, so the question was what do you do with them and who rounds them up?

Peliken, again brought it up that Pit Bulls are vicious and from her research when they go after someone they go for the kill. She was very concerned for the young and elderly, she said when they bite they won’t let go.

The subject of penalties was brought up and it was recommended that fines for dogs running at large be high enough to deter people from violating the ordinance.

After lengthly discussion Jenkins, made a motion to allow the research and draft of a town ordinance concerning vicious and dangerous dogs. The motion was seconded by Peliken and passed unanimously.