Dog Complaints Prompt New Somerset Ordinance

There's been fear in one Somerset neighborhood. Neighbors say one man has already been bitten by a vicious dog that escaped his owner's underground fence.

And one woman, who didn't want to be identified, says her son was nearly attacked in her own garage.

“My youngest son was up against the cabinets. And the dog was probably 4 feet from him, with his teeth showing. He was growling getting ready to attack him,” she said.

That scare prompted her and other neighbors to take their complaints to city hall, where they were successful in helping to convince city leaders that the current dog law, passed in 1979, needed an update.

“Just as an example of how outdated it was, the yearly license was $1.50,” said Somerset City Attorney Carrie Wiese.

Part of the problem now is that when there's any animal problem, the dog warden is the only one's that's called. City police can't do much of anything. The ordinance will change that.

Police will be able to answer complaints and issue fines, which could range from $50 to $250.

“We’re looking at a situation where we would ask the court to declare their dog a vicious dog. And the dog would be taken away or destroyed,” said Weise.

Which is good news for people who say they've been frightened for far too long.

“There's been no leash law. The dogs just ran free through the neighborhood. There's been nothing to stop them from coming through your yard, terrorizing you or anything.”

The ordinance also requires owners to remove their animal excrement, prohibits the awarding of live animals as prizes, and outlaws noisy barking or yelping.

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  • by Anonymous Location: Somerset on Oct 5, 2008 at 05:05 PM
    I can't walk in my neighberhood because of dogs, they are unleashed and dangerous! Once i made the mistake to leave the garage door open and a very agressive dog came in barking at us, I locked the door and waited, terrorized for the dog to go away. This isn't normal, where are the owners? and what really concerns me is that city doesnt do anything about it!
  • by Katrina Location: Baltimore, MD on Aug 22, 2008 at 08:10 AM
    Somerset should be commended for banning the use of live animals as carnival prizes. Baby iguanas are often used as carnival prizes, and families often can't afford to care for an iguana properly (housing, heating, and veterinary care may be in the hundreds of dollars), and there's a risk of salmonella. Keep up the good work.
  • by Wow Location: Richmond on Jun 13, 2008 at 08:31 AM
    @Concerned Citizen Location: Somerset on That and the modern wussification that makes people buy rat sized dogs then claim that a boxer type is vicous when it kills their dog in one bite because it thought it was 7 lbs of pitbull but is just kibble to a real dog. Same idiots try to get bewteen their 7lb trouble starting car chaser when a big dogs comin at it yet they dont care when it runs at cars all day long endangering everyone that drives by. I say we make it so I can sue people for letting their little dogs chase my car and slow me down costing me valuable gas when they dart in front of me in plain view of their owners. After all gas costs too much to play around with rats and squirrells that try to get hit instead of fleeing liek nature intended.
  • by steve on Jun 12, 2008 at 05:28 PM
    I love dogs but when someone lets a dog bark all night long for no reason and you have to get up at 3:30 in the morning it sure makes you tired you can break a dog from doing this when he is young and then when you here him bark their will be someone around i assure you.
  • by Concerned Citizen Location: Somerset on Jun 12, 2008 at 08:40 AM
    Look I agree nobody should have to put up with dogs that are "vicious" BUT when this demented lady sais that a King Charles Spaniel is "vicious" then you should know she is absolutely full of it. This is a direct excerpt from the American Kennell Clubs web site about their temperment "Gay, friendly, non-aggressive with no tendency towards nervousness or shyness." On top of that this dog has no teeth.. so how it is vicious I don't know. This lady that is pressing charges is just on a crusade to get her name in the paper because she is a lawyer and want's to become known. Let's put this situation in another context. If I have a neighbor that is loud and is making me mad is it ok if I go and "destroy" them as the county attorney calls it? NO. This is a bogus case that should have never even gotten this far but the reporters in somerset have no understanding of good journalism and would rather hype up a non existent story and help ruin someones life just so they get raitings.
  • by Dog problems Location: Pulaski on Jun 12, 2008 at 07:16 AM
    To any of you who think the dog problems in Pulaski are not true, Try having your elderly parents tormented by dogs. Especially when they paid over 3000 dollars for chain link fencing to keep their dog safe and under control. I have dogs and love them like they are part of my family, but this poor guy could not help the fact his dog had pups and they grew up to be mean. The animal control guy down there isn't doing his job. He pulled in, set a cage out and left. He hasn't been back to my knowledge. But the dogs continue to torment the neighbors.Pulaski Co will wish they had made this guy do his job if one of the dogs in question hurt my parents.They have been called at least 8 times that I know of. You can't take care of it yourself for fear of going to jail.This place is not near the story reported on but just to show there is a problem with dogs in Pulaski Co I wanted to tell my thoughts on it.
  • by Jack Location: Pike County on Jun 12, 2008 at 06:51 AM
    To Dog Problems in Pulaski maybe the animal control person is afraid of the dogs himself.
  • by Angie Location: Somerset on Jun 12, 2008 at 03:40 AM
    Leave the dogs alone! If all you have to complain about is a dog barking you have it made.
  • by Wow Location: Richmond on Jun 11, 2008 at 09:39 PM
    And people say I dont like animals because I dont support the romeo laws. I bet the same people are tired of the neighborhood dogs and made complaints that get dogs killed.
  • by Ann Location: Huey on Jun 11, 2008 at 09:19 PM
    Check out HSUS latest horror horse slaughter video in Canada. A 2nd illicitly done video for the agenda of eradicating all wild and private horses NOT to prevent the slaughter of a few horses. HSUS has a long history of opposing animal experiments for human gain. HSUS has an equal history of doing animal invasive medical experiments such as with PZP for its own agenda advancement of eradicating all wild horses. Check out the real history of HSUS sterilization of wild horse herds coast to coast. When any man says he dislikes animals and wants all domestic animals eradicated with his sole focus in life being eradication of domestic (farm and pet) animals plus all our wild burros and mustangs--more than his hat is off center. The real story lies in political collusion. Why did no one from HSUS spend jail time or pay any fine after HSUS was convicted of post Katrina fraud? Follow the money to see the tie of HSUS to Smart Growth. Then decide if you want such running your town.
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