Letters to the Editor

Citizen approaches city council about need for 'dangerous dog' ordinance

South Avenue B water main project gets green light, housing infill program seeing successful start

WASHINGTON — A Washington resident would like to see an ordinance put in place for dangerous dogs and brought his concerns to the Washington City Council during their regular meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 3.

Tom Doughty, who lives across the street from Lincoln Elementary School in Washington, alleged he was attacked by a Pitbull while out for a walk last Friday night. He claimed he was able to fend the dog off and had no serious injuries but felt something should be done about “dangerous dogs” at large.

When speaking to other people about the incident, including some who called him to say they experienced something similar.

As a result of the attack, and the response he received from others he spoke with, Doughty said he began compiling a list of things about the attack he felt needed to be addressed.

Doughty suggested the council put together a subset of dog breeds that are known to be vicious, he suggested Pitbulls and Rottweilers, and treat them in a separate category from other pet owners. These dogs, he felt, should be muzzled whenever they are outside and chained in the yard in a way in which they cannot get within two inches of the sidewalk. He also suggested owners be fined of those dog breeds should be fined if they get away and euthanized if they attack someone.

“I think if you own a dog that’s vicious or potentially vicious, you should be held to a higher standard of conduct. It’s no different from having a concealed carry permit. If you have a concealed carry permit and you’re a gun owner, you’re held to a higher standard because you’re supposed to know what you’re doing.”

In 2018, after a series of reported dog attacks, then police chief Greg Goodman told The Journal he “and the city’s mayor, Jaron Rosien, both agree the city’s animal ordinances are effective.”

The city’s ordinances require dogs remain on a leash, even in the park.

In other news, a water main project on South Avenue B, from Sitler to Monroe, will finally see work. According to City Administrator Brent Hinson, the project has been in the city’s capital improvement plan since 2002 but has not gotten done as other projects have taken president.

The total cost for the projected is estimated to be $29,397. The main focus of the project will be a small two-block section between Tyler and Van Buren Streets that have been the most problematic and the remaining four blocks will be completed as time allows. The project will be paid for out of a $65,000 project budget funded for in the new fiscal year.

Along the same lines of city improvement, Hinson said the housing rehabilitation program the city adopted in July has seen success. Currently, there are nine homes that qualify for the program with one of those under construction and the other three out for bid. The program is paid for through grants and TIF (tax increment funding) dollars and will eventually become self sustaining as the tax dollars from the homes will go back into the program.