by Jaime Baranyai - Staff Writer
Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2007 7:19 PM CDT
Most of City Council's Monday night meeting centered on the lengthy discussion about the City of Rolla's Animal Control Regulations -- a sensitive issue council members are already debating about and one that's sure to pull at the heart strings of pet owners in Rolla.
First, a preface to the discussion. Rolla Police Department Lt. Jim Macormic was assigned as the staff liaison for an Ad Hoc Committee for the review of several animal ordinances. The specific issues discussed were: 1) Regulating the number of dogs and cats per household. 2) Proactive registration or outright banning of certain breeds of dogs with aggressive tendencies. 3) Regulations regarding "exotic" animals. The committee has completed its review of these ordinances and has summarized its recommendations for the city. Staff recommendations are as follows:....
* The proposed "exotic animal" ordinance should be implemented, which now defines exotic animals and removes the responsibility of the city administrator and police chief on decision-making for each individual case. (An "exotic animal" means any animal which, when in its wild state, is capable [while at large] of inflicting serious physical harm upon human beings. A list of what qualifies as an "exotic animal" is also available)....
City Administrator John Butz reminded the council members (and others at Monday night's meeting) that these issues were still in the discussion phase.
"Right now these are just recommendations for an ordinance," Butz said. "These recommendations are going to raise a lot of questions and create a lot of feedback. This is something that tugs at peoples' heart strings because this is their pets you're talking about. We need to take our time on this issue and have a public hearing about it soon -- people are going to have things to say."