• In Springfield, they want to put teeth in dog ordinance
    June 25,2007

    SPRINGFIELD, Vt. (AP) - A rash of complaints about dogs has the town contemplating changes to its pet ordinance, which one official said lacks teeth.

    The problem: owners.

    "We've had a number of problems and concerns about dog complaints and dog bites," said Select Board Chairwoman Mary Helen Hawthorne. "We want teeth in our ordinance because we've had an awful lot of problems recently, three or four serious incidents."

    She says it's the owners who have to change their ways.

    Dog attacks have sent at least one person to the hospital and resulted in the death of a pet, prompting the town to revisit its ordinance.

    Among the proposals: fining people who don't pick up after their dogs, outlining what constitutes a nuisance and providing clarification on how many violations can occur with one dog before it is impounded.

    The town is also proposing to boost a dog license fee surcharge to $5 per license, from $1 now.

    The proposed ordinance will be subject to a public hearing before it's adopted. No date has been set.

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