At-large dogs still causing problems in city

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


According to the Washington County call log, Washington Police officers responded to an incident of a dog running at large in the city on Monday.

The log said that at 2:01 p.m. a caller reported being chased by a brown pitbull that morning in the 700 block of North Iowa Avenue in Washington. A written warning for allowing a dog to run at large was issued to Michelle Kay Potter. The warning was for a dog in city limits over six months of age that does not possess current vaccinations for rabies. The log said she has until Nov. 16 to prove the dog had been vaccinated.

In a previous interview, Washington Police Chief Greg Goodman said that 2017 has been a bad year for dogs running at large. As he was preparing to speak about dogs running at large he checked a dog running at large citation at random to see how much the owner would have to pay. The cost was $148.

?We have good years and bad years,? Goodman said. ?There have been issues with dogs running at large. I think there are a lot of people who just let their dogs out and let them run, which is against city code. Dogs are supposed to be controlled by leashes or invisible fences. They have to be able to keep them in the yard or near. A lot of people let their dogs out and not everyone likes dogs. When that dog runs up to someone it can cause a problem.?

Over the last couple of months there have been several incidents involving dogs. Goodman said several of the incidents had occurred because the dog had gotten loose and was running at large. He said the Washington Police Department generally gives one warning and then begins writing citations for the infractions. Goodman commented that officers can?t seize every dog running at large because the six stalls at the city pound would soon be full and there would be no place to store the animals.

Recently several people had approached the Washington City Council in reference to an incident in which a pit bull allegedly chased one subject and jumped on another. Goodman said that dog would be cited as soon as the owners are located, but because no injury was done, it doesn?t fall under the city?s definition of a vicious animal.

There have also been two incidents this year in which a dog was humanely destroyed after being declared vicious.