Council to consider more dogged animal control ordinance

Feb 19, 2019

In an effort to put more bite into its municipal ordinances, the City of Kenai is considering court appearances for repeated violators of animal control ordinances.

Introduced on Feb. 6, the ordinance will have a public hearing tomorrow (Wed.) night. If passed it would go into effect in mid March.

The ordinance redefines “vicious animal” and further delineates it from a “dangerous” animal. The distinction, according to Mayor Brian Gabriel, is significant when it comes to actions taken in regards to the animal, including penalties, impounding and adoption procedures.

The second change is the one that imposes court hearings on scofflaw pet owners. New language in the ordinance state that an owner whose pets have had three violations in a three month period must have an arraignment before a judge, and not just pay a fine. 

The intent there, according to Gabriel’s memo to the council, is the hope that the animal owner will see the court date as a more serious message than a simple fine, and perhaps comply with city code.

And the third leg of the new ordinance is a schedule of fines that range from $50 to $500 for owners who do not have their pet under restraint.

The ordinance is on Wednesday night’s Kenai City Council meeting.