The Vicious, Threatening, or Destructive Animal ordinance was passed unanimously by the Phelps County commissioners on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018 after multiple public hearings along with the county overhauling the language of the first proposed Animal at Large ordinance that was introduced on June 21, 2018.
“We were sensitive to the folks who were concerned about the impact, and we were reasonably convinced that this ordinance’s safety net would minimize the negative impact,” said Phelps County’s presiding commissioner, Randy Verkamp, following the passage of the Vicious, Threatening, or Destructive Animal statute for the county.
The initial proposal of the Animal at Large ordinance included broad language and contained verbiage that covered all manner of animals and had left residents of the county concerned. Language, Phelps County District 2 commissioner, Gary Hicks, noted as “extremely ambiguous.”
The initial ordinance was fashioned after Missouri’s repealed state statute. The state statute was rescinded in 2013, and a state law concerning animals at large in Missouri hasn’t been introduced since.
Phelps County’s Vicious, Threatening, or Destructive Animal ordinance dictates:
Section 1: It shall be unlawful for any person possessing, owning, or otherwise having under his/her custody or control a vicious, threatening, or destructive animal of any kind, to permit the animal to run at large. Run at large shall be defined to mean off the premises of the owner and not under the control of the keeper, owner, or responsible member of the household. This section shall not apply to law enforcement personnel working with any police K-9.
Section 2: Upon complaint, l
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