Dora City Council

Mayor reviews progress on proposed animal control ordinance

Work going slowly to make sure details are covered


DORA - Mayor Randy Stephens told the Dora City Council on Thursday, April 8, about the progress being made in getting set up under a new animal control ordinance that is in the works. 

The council agreed that night to spend $1,579 to purchase some of the more expensive supplies needed as the city attempts to set up a new animal control ordinance. The council agreed to purchase a net gun to throw out a net, which is costing nearly $1,200, as well as two traps, under the advice of animal experts. 

"We passed our first (ordinance) when I was first elected in 2012," Stephens said. "We found out pretty quickly it was really not enforceable." 

Planning for the new ordinance is going slowly to make sure all the details are done right. 

"We're not going to be gung-ho to try to take people's dogs away from them," Stephens said. "As you know, in a rural area like Dora, you have got about 50 percent of the people who think everyone ought to keep their dog up, and the other 50 percent think it should all be free range, that dogs should be able to do where they want to go. 

"We're trying to find a way to bring both sides together and write a fair, humane ordinance so we can help control nuisance dogs. If a dog lays on their porch and never leaves the porch, that's fine. But if it gets into somebody's garbage and turns it over, then we have a problem."  

The city has already obtained a truck and some other equipment, and the city is planning to get its radio equipment.

"We got a box in the back already donated, which is climate controlled" to put dogs in that are picked up, he said. 

Stephens said details will be shared later involving municipal judge Steven D. Gravlee and city attorney Jim Brakefield, as well as people who will help in housing the animals.

The majority of animals will not be euthanized, but will instead be found new homes, or to return the dogs to their owners if they are found, he said.

A punitive stage would be "not too expensive for the first offense to get their animal back," Stephens said. Brakefield will help write the ordinance, and Gravlee will do things legally to possibly waive some of the fees. 

Three meetings on the ordinance have been held by Dora officials so far, he said, where a list of supplies were drawn up. 

The council will meet again this Thursday,  April 22, at 6 p.m.