Animal regulations tightened

MABTON - At this past Tuesday night's city council meeting, Mabton council members voted to approve ordinances regarding dog penalties and dangerous dogs.

Last month at a Mabton City Council meeting council members reviewed current dog ordinances and discussed changes and revisions.

Though most residents should be aware of the requirement for dog licenses and the fines associated with not having the proper paperwork, they may not be aware of the restrictions of animals running "at large" on the streets.

The ordinance states, "It is unlawful for any dog, whether licensed or unlicensed, muzzled or not muzzled, to run at large in the city."

A dog is considered by city officials to be "at large" if it is not restrained by a "suitable" leash that is not longer than six feet. The leash must also be under control of a person who is physically able to control the animal. In addition, a dog weighing more than 40 pounds is required to wear a "restraining device" to prevent the dog from biting.

Previously the fines were set from $50 to $275, based on first, second, third and subsequent offenses.

Mabton Police Chief Rick Gutierrez suggested amending the ordinances to give officers room to issue fines between $100 and $500, with the amount issued determined by the police officer on the case.

Council members approved the amendment at this past Tuesday night's council meeting, and the ordinance will go into effect beginning Sunday, April 29.

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