WEST LOGAN — The May monthly meeting of the West Logan Town Council was a little longer than usual thanks to some ongoing situations revolving around pets and stray animals. Over the years the town has dealt with problems with strays from time to time and last month an abandoned building in town was chosen to be a temporary home for animals confined at the county’s dog pound while that facility was cleaned up and quarantined.
Council discussed the issues about animals when two residents complained that one of their neighbors had about dozen dogs on his property including several blood hounds that had dug their way out of the yard and had tried to attack smaller dogs in the neighborhood on First Avenue. The resident said the dogs had also attacked and killed several cats and had become a nuisance.
“They also bark a lot,” said one woman present at the monthly meeting.
Mayor Darren Akers agreed with another West Logan resident who said he feared that people walking small dogs might be confronted by large dogs that could attack the smaller canines, leading to trouble, noting some elderly people and children were seen in the area walking small dogs such as wiener dogs.
“That could turn into a public safety issue,” Akers noted.
Akers asked Police Chief Robert Ward about contacting the animal’s owners and letting them know there had been complaints.
Akers added that the town had a “barking dog” ordinance, but not much more to deal with the canine conundrum. Akers said it was a good idea for people with small pets to keep them indoors and asked the town’s attorney Sabrina Deskins about looking into an ordinance that would address such issues as people or organizations having too many animals in confined spaces. Akers noted it was not the first time the council has had to address issues regarding dogs in recent weeks, following a measure where the local dog pound was closed temporarily to clean and quarantine the facility while the animals were relocated into an old building on Route 10 on the far end of town temporarily. Akers noted the move was supposed to be for just a few weeks until the county’s dog pound can be cleaned up. Several councilmembers discussed concerns that some might want to make the facility a permanent home for canines.
“People get sensitive about pets and I can understand that,” Akers said. “I love animals and I am fond of dogs. Most people around here are. When they closed the dog pound to clean it up and quarantine it due to some illness issues we agreed that they could use the building down the road for a few weeks. But I don’t think we need a dog pound in West Logan given how close the homes and buildings are to each other around here.”
One resident said he felt such a facility would not be a good idea for the same reason. Councilmembers discussed passing an ordinance that would address people who may be “animal hoarding” and prevent a permanent dog pound or shelter being put up inside the town. City Clerk Mark Mareske noted that one ordinance could deal with multiple issues if it addressed residential homes, organizations and entities.
Deskins said she would look into the matter of drafting an ordinance that would address these issues.
One resident of First Avenue said her neighbor’s dog just gave birth to a litter of a dozen pups and asked about transporting them to an animal shelter. Akers noted that with the dog pound closed and the dog shelter being set up the animals might have to be taken to a different shelter. The resident volunteered to help with that project and Police Chief Robert Ward said he would be happy to help transport the pups to a shelter using the street department’s truck.