April 22, 2015 Edition

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Hoxie to look into dog pound

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

The Hoxie City Council authorized Mayor Lanny Tinker to proceed with plans to build a dog pound within the city at the April 14 meeting. After a string of vicious dog attacks the week prior, the council agreed that animal control had to be better enforced.

Tinker proposed a six~kennel pound at an estimated cost of $4,500 without labor. The pens would be used to house stray dogs for a minimum of five days before being taken to be euthanized.

More than ever, Tinker stressed the importance of proper identification on all pets, including home address and proof of vaccinations.

"We are coming down hard," Tinker said. He said all pets, even those in secured pens and homes must have tags. Tickets will be distributed to pet owners who don't have proper tags.

Beyond cracking down on stray dogs in general, Tinker also said he recommends banning pit bulls and related breeds. He showed the council research he had conducted on other cities in Arkansas that have passed ordinances banning pit bulls.

He said an alternative to outright banning would be declaring them as a dangerous species, requiring owners to register the animals with the city and have liability insurance on the animal.

The council asked questions about how successful these banning laws have been in other cities. Tinker said according to his research, it has been done successfully many times.

The council tabled discussion on banning to conduct further research. Alderman Tim Taylor said he sees a three tier plan shaping from the discussion. First establishing a dog pen, then establishing a cat pen and finally addressing banning.

First and foremost though, the council agreed citizens must be responsible for their pets. "If they're going to have animals, they should have to take care of them," Becky Linebaugh said.

Also at the meeting, Tinker informed the council that he is still in negotiation with a Save~A~Lot owner who is looking to open a new grocery store at the Texas Street location. The process will take several months but Tinker said he believes an agreement will be reached that will be best for the city.

In other business, Tinker announced:

  • that the city recently received an ISO fire protection rating of five from its previous rating of six. This should save citizens between $30 to $75 per year on homeowner's coverage, according to Tinker.

  • citizens can now pay their water bills online or over the phone by credit card. Turnkey Merchant Services will charge a service fee of $2.95 per transaction or three percent of the payment. An account can be set up at hoxiewaterworks.com or by calling 886~2231.

  • a city Facebook is in the works to help keep citizens up to date.

  • as cleanup wraps up, code enforcement will leave fliers explaining that no further pickups will be made until the next scheduled citywide cleanup. Any items left on the roadside will be cited and fines may be incurred.

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