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|Animal Control Report Being Finalized, Awaits Council
|The City of Galesburg's Animal Control Working Group met for the final time Tuesday night where the animal control draft report was reviewed.
The task force was assembled after 7-year old Ryan Maxwell was killed by a pit bull in March of this year.
In previous meetings, the group identified animals running at large, a lack of transparency in the tracking system, and mistreatment of animals as problems needing to be addressed.
Members assembled a list of policy options for City Council consideration at their last meeting and changed portions of the report to finalize the document.
Task Force Chair Jeremy Karlin says neighboring communities like Peoria and Bloomington can act as an enforcement guide for Galesburg's future changes.
"If someone is found to be a reckless dog owner, Peoria can bar them from owning a dog for three years and I know that we were concerned about whether or not we could do that, well there's some precedent for a County doing it so surely we can as well," says Karlin. "I know that if we have individuals who are continually being cited I know that everyone in the room doesn't want that person to have a dog."
Reduction of the dogs per household, leash laws, and breeding requirements are recommended for change in the report.
Areas of disagreement are also listed in the report between members of the task force.
Among those disagreements is moving animal enforcement back under the control of the Galesburg Police Department. City Manager Todd Thompson has stated in the past that it has always been the position of City Administration that the responsibilities of animal control enforcement be handled by the Police Department.
Representatives of the Prairieland Animal Welfare Center requested information on why the responsibility was contracted out in the first place and could be used to help the City Council make their decision between the various options.
The internal nature/nurture debate was on display again at last nights meeting. Working Group Member Erin Buckmaster was asked if there was any situation she would deem dogs to be violent in nature.
"I think basically, and I talked to the State of Illinois Veterinarian Doctor Mark Ernst, and I think truly there are some dogs, just like some people can be bad, but most of the time, I think all animals are born equal and there are a lot of bad owners out there who don't treat pets right," says Buckmaster.
Karlin thanked group members for their service in compiling the report. The Galesburg City Council is expected to review the report later this month.
|07 02 13 by Newsroom
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