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Buckeye Lake approves tethering ordinance

BUCKEYE LAKE – For the first time in history, women hold the top two positions in local government.

Peggy A. Wells is now the village’s “strong mayor” as provided in the Village Charter. She defeated one-term incumbent Mayor Clay Carroll with 62 percent of the votes in November.

Monday night, Kitty Zwissler was reelected to a second twoyear term as Council President. Tom Wolfe was reelected to a second two-year term as Council President Pro Tem.

New council member John Geiger will replace Wells as the chair of Council’s Rules Committee. New council member Bill French will replace Tim Ryan as chair of Council’s Personnel Committee. Ryan did not seek reelection. Geiger will also be a member of the Finance and Community Development committees. French will serve on the Finance and Public Service committees.

Council members unanimously suspended the three reading rule to declare four items unneeded and obsolete and dispose of them by public auction. The items are a air line monitor at the fire department, a snow plow, a salt spreader and a 20-year-old copier. The air-line monitor has been replaced by individual alarms on the air packs; the snow plow was designed for a Chevrolet truck and doesn’t fit on the Village’s Fords and the salt spreader doesn’t work very well.

During council member comments, council member Robert Masone MD asked about the animal tethering ordinance that had been table at the December 11 meeting. He ultimately moved to take it off the table with Wolfe seconding it. Council member Arletta Ruton asked how it would be enforced. “People will call in when they see a tethered dog,” Zwissler said. Masone said the police department would “triage” calls about tethered animals. If they have a more important call, they would check out the tethered complaint later, he explained. Council members unanimously untabled the ordinance and then adopted it. It will be effective in 30 days.

Buckeye Lake animal advocate Bonny Mansfield believes it will initially affect three dogs – two on Union Avenue and one on Rosebraugh Circle.

The now adopted ordinance states, “ …there is a need to protect the public health, safety and general welfare as it pertains to tethering of animals in the Village; and…tethering of animals puts animals at risk of harm from other animals and people; and furthermore can result in aggressive animal behavior; and…it is in the best interest of the Village to act to prevent animal cruelty…”

The ordinance is not limited to dogs. It reads:

“(a) No person shall tether an animal in any of the following circumstances:

(1) For more than six (6) hours total in a twenty-four (24) hour period and not more than two (2) consecutive hours with no less than a one (1) hour period between tetherings;

(2) Between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.;

(3) If a heat or cold advisory has been issued by a local or state authority or the National Weather Service;

(4) If a severe weather warning has been issued by a local or state authority or the National Weather Service;

(5) If the tether is less than twenty (20) feet in length;

(6) If the tether allows the animal’ to touch the fence or cross the property line or cross onto public property;

(7) If the tether is attached by means of a pinch-type, prong-type, or choke-type collar or if the collar is unsafe or is not properly fitted;

(8) If the tether may cause injury or entanglement;

(9) No person shall keep any animal in a place that is unsanitary, including any place where there is an accumulation of feces or other waste, or foul odor, or insect or rodent infestation.

(10) If the tether is made of a material that is unsuitable for the animal’s size and weight or that causes any unnecessary discomfort to the animal;

(11) If no owner or occupant is present at the premises.

(b) As used in this section; “tether”’ means- a rope; chain; cord, dog-run or pulley, or similar restraint for holding an animal in place, allowing a radius in which it can move about.

SECTIONII: That anyone violating the animal tethering regulations in the Village of Buckeye Lake Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor on the first offense, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree on the second offense, and a misdemeanor of the first degree on the third or any subsequent offense. Notwithstanding the foregoing penalties, if an animal becomes sick or injured as a result of a violation of this section, then whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.”

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