(BROWNSTOWN) - One Brownstown dog owner was given restrictions on his pet by members of the Brownstown Town Council after a public hearing this week.
Jordan Richart of The Jackson County Banner reports that James Reynolds was given orders to post signs on his property warning people of a potentially dangerous dog, build an enclosure approved by police chief Tom Hanner to contain the dog if he leaves it outside without a leash, purchase leashes capable of handling and restraining his dog, and to pay fees to cover the cost of keeping the dog in the pound.
Reynolds says he will comply with all the town's restrictions.
Town officials say Reynolds will not get his dog back until he does. Reynolds' American Bulldog attacked a neighbor Marsha Hall-Gomez and her dog March 19, while she was walking her lab-chow mix breed dog near his property on Commerce Street. Reynolds says the dog escaped through the back door and was outside for a few minutes before going over to Hall-Gomez and attacking. He had to pry his dog's jaw off the other dog.
The town's ordinance, defines a vicious animal two ways: One that -- when unprovoked -- and in an aggressive manner inflicts severe injury on or kills a human being or domestic pet or an animal previously determined to be and currently listed as a potentially dangerous animal which, after its owner has been notified of the determination, continues dangerous behavior.
After a public hearing that gave an opportunity for both parties to speak, town council members voted to deem Reynolds' dog a potential threat, rather than vicious, because they determined Hall-Gomez's injury was not severe.
Hall-Gomez disagreed with the town's judgment on her injury, and says the bite resulted in several wounds to her wrist.
Town attorney Joe Markel said that a severe injury would have be considered life-threatening or cause a lot of damage.
If the dog were to attack another individual again, the town's ordinance mandates it be euthanized.
Hall-Gomez then explained her dissatisfaction with the board's position.
The two parties agreed there had been tension regarding the dogs for a couple years and both seemed to say each other were not respectful neighbors when it came to the issue.
Steward advised Reynolds to call police if the dog escaped again to have them help take care of the situation.
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