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Clay surpasses $10,000 in attorney fees for dog ordinance case

By Gary Lloyd

CLAY — Clay City Manager Ronnie Dixon said last week that the city has surpassed the $10,000 mark in attorney fees in the court case surrounding the city’s “vicious dog” ordinance.

Dixon said the city’s insurance coverage limit is $10,000.

Mary and Stephen Schreiner are plaintiffs in the court case. A motion for preliminary injunction was filed in July in Jefferson County Court to stop the enforcement of the ordinance, which bans pit bulls and other “vicious dogs” in the city limits.

They were first scheduled to appear in court on or before Sept. 15 to give Judge Joseph Boohaker a status report on their lawyers working with the city of Clay’s lawyers to reach a “mutually satisfactory resolution” to the ordinance. Sixty more days were requested at the time.

Dixon said in an email that “it’s a shame” the city has had to spend taxpayer dollars, but that Clay can’t be the only local city without a dangerous dog ordinance.

Dixon said in late July that 15 to 18 pit bulls had been registered with the city since the ordinance took effect in June. He said that also since that time, two dogs in the city had been killed by pit bulls and three more injured by pit bulls. He said in one of those five cases, a dog climbed over a fence, and in another a dog was unleashed. He didn’t know the particulars of the other three instances. A small bird dog was killed by an American Bull Terrier in Clay last month.

“The mayor hears regularly from the majority of citizens who want to feel safe walking in their neighborhood or in the city parks,” Dixon said.

The Clay City Council approved the ordinance in June. Opponents argue that it shouldn’t ban specific breeds of dogs.

Contact Gary Lloyd at news@trussvilletribune.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.

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