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City Council reviews animal ordinances

Review comes after incident involving the owner of several dogs attacking another dog on his property.

Posted: Dec 4, 2019 11:16 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) -- A viral video of several dogs apparently attacking another dog has prompted the St. Joseph City Council to review the city's ordinances on dog breeding and ownership.

Animal control says they believe the dog fight developed, located entirely withinn the fenced property of a St. Joseph home, between males battling over a female in heat.

"It was the perfect storm. There were a lot of things that caused it to go the way it did," said Stephen Norman of the St. Joseph Animal Control. 

Norman said that the city already has an ordinance requiring animals in heat being separated from other pets.

He was one person giving advice to council members who held a work session on the topic on Wednesday.

"(We had) multiple complaints about what the city can do to handle it and what direction we're going with it," said city council member Brian Myers.

Some recommend a new ordinance that would limit the number of animals a pet owner can have.

"The reality is you can be a terrific pet owner and have 15-16 animals in your home," Myers said. "On the flip side of that coin, you can be the worst owner in the world and have only one."

Norman advised council members to move ahead cautiously in whatever direction they eventually choose.

"People have specific rights. We want to make sure we don't do anything that violates those," Norman said.

The council also discussed a problem with feral cats in the city.

There were no decisions made at the meeting.

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