Animal Control issues letters to dog owners
Truckee residents owning licensed dogs received last week a letter from Animal Control Supervisor Dan Olsen which explains Truckee’s existing town ordinance concerning canine containment and the Animal Control Department’s recent adoption of a maximum enforcement policy of that ordinance.
“We sent out 2,000 of the letters to licensed dog owners,” Animal Control office assistant Brenda Lee said. “I’m also passing out the letter whenever someone comes in to license a dog.”
Lee said enforcement levels and the number of citations issued have remained steady since the town’s adoption of maximum enforcement – a policy under which animal control officers cite dog owners on the first offense for violations.
‘We have seen a lot of improvement,” Lee said. “People who get the letters have been calling regularly, and we have had both positive and negative feedback.”
The letters were sent to out-of-town dog owners who have primary residences in other parts of the state, Lee said.
“Many Truckee residents are upset and frustrated with loose, uncontrolled dogs,” Olsen’s letter noted. “Under the existing town ordinance dogs are prohibited from running at large on public streets or other public places or on private property (without the permission of the owner), unless they are in the ‘immediate presence and under direct control of the owner and the owner can demonstrate effective control of the animal.’
This means that if your dog steps off your property without your immediate supervision and control, or if you are taking your unleashed dog for a walk and he is roaming ahead or behind you, you are in violation and are subject to a citation. “
Under maximum enforcement mode, an animal control officer will respond to a dog at large by securing the dog, identifying the owner and either returning the dog home or impounding the dog and notifying the owner.
In either case, the animal is returned and a fine is issued. The cost of the initial citation is $81 and subsequent citations in a 12-month period are $189 and $486. In addition, there is an impound fee which ranges from $25-$125 depending on the number of previous impounds within the last two years.
The letter notes that dog owners have options to control their animals, including leashes, runners, electric fences, kennels or standard fences.
‘We ask that all dog owners consider and respect their neighbors,” Olsen stated. “People should be able to walk, jog or ride their bikes without being harassed by your dogs. People should also not have to clean up any mess left by your dog, i.e. trash or defecation. Our goal is to educate dog owners and enforce the current laws. Now is the time to comply because if improvement does not result from these measure, a strict leash law may be created.”
For information about Animal Control policies, call (530)582-7830.
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