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BREAKING NEWS

Keep track of all pets

By Staff | Mar 27, 2008

The 2007 animal impoundment report was shared with members of the Estherville City Council recently and numbers are holding steady from a year ago.

Estherville Community Development Director Barb Mack compiled the statistics showing that 59 animals were impounded in 2007 as compared with 58 in the year prior. Animals which were unclaimed after a three-day period and transported to the Humane Society of Northwest Iowa, located in Dickinson County, totaled 30 while 28 were driven to that shelter in 2006.

Pet owners, be advised. There continues to be an entire city ordinance devoted to animal protection and control. Not only does it protect the health, safety and welfare of humans but it safeguards the pets as well.

Control of animal citations and animal impoundment are the direct result of ordinance section 320-5 titled Control of Animals which states, “An owner shall keep his animal under control at all times.”

The ordinance specifically notes those times when an owner does not have his animal under control. It is when the owner permits the animal to:

n Damage or defile public property or the property of another. This can include but is not limited to the failure of the owner to immediately pick up and remove deposited feces from property not owned by the animal owner.

n Bark, howl, unduly or otherwise. The ordinance is violated if the neighborhood quiet is disturbed.

n Bite or attempt to bite, attack or belligerently pursue anyone off the premises of the owner.

n Run at large.

Estherville Police Chief Eric Milburn explained persons affected by any or all of the above animal behavior must sign a complaint for a citation to be issued against the owner of the animal.

“The control of animal citation is a simple misdemeanor but it has to be observed and verified by a complainant and not the Estherville Police Department,” the chief explained.

The affected party must sign a complaint and has to agree to go to court to testify. “The person complaining must know who the owner is and the location of the dog at the time of the offense,” he said.

The control of animal offense carries a $65 court fine and surcharge plus $50 in court costs.

The chief said the dollar amount increases when an animal has to be impounded as kennel fees and $25 animal transportation costs are tacked on.

Police Captain Brent Shatto offered advice to pet owners if the situation arises when the animal accidentally gets loose, runs off or gets lost.

“Contact us immediately with a description of your pet because if a complaint is received, we can reunite the animal with the owner when found. The owner can avoid getting a citation.”