Jamie Wilson said her children are afraid to play outside. The city of Dover plans to do something about it.
Wilson has filed complaints against the dog of a neighbor, a white rat terrier that has bitten her child.
“My son was bitten,” Wilson said. “My son is a big kid, so he was able to fight it off, but if it was my daughter that’d be another story.”
Crystal Merchelwitz, who accompanied Wilson to the meeting, asked the council if they could pass a stricter ordinance for dogs.
Councilman Doug Peterson said the city’s current dog ordinance basically amounts to a prohibition of dogs running at large. A new ordinance, that will be presented to the council next month, will include licensing and possibly more penalties and restrictions for dogs that bite.
“We’re trying to update it so it has more teeth,” Peterson said. “Right now our hands are pretty much tied with the ordinance we have.”
The complaint the council heard this month was the second dog in the past year that has bitten someone and required quarantine.
“One has been deemed a dangerous dog,” Peterson said. To keep that dog means the owners must report the dog to their insurance company and carry a $250,000 bond.
“If we revisit the ordinance, we might require they quarantine the dogs at an off-site premises,” he said.
In addition to discussing a new ordinance, the council discussed whether the dog that bit Wilson’s son will be deemed a dangerous dog.
“If it is deemed a dangerous dog, they will need it to always be chained, they’ll need signs posted,” said councilman Matt Elder. “If they’re outside and walking it, it needs to have a muzzle on it.”
In other business, Peterson said the city was in talks with a company that has a business in a nearby city that’s looking to expand. “They’re looking to build a brand-new building,” he said. “They want to speak with the EDA (Economic Development Authority) to see what kind of incentives we have to bring a company to town. We’re talking with the city attorney about possibly setting up a TIF (tax-increment financing) district.”