By Lee Weyhrich
Animals were again a topic of concern at a Clay City Council meeting, but Monday’s meeting had little to do with a vicious dog ordinance.
Investigators from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the Humane Society were recently called to investigate the deaths of several pets in a Chestnut Hills home after an odor was noticed during a routine abatement inspection.
“(This was at) a Chestnut Hills house that was foreclosed on,” City Manager Ronnie Dixon said. “We went to check on the weeds because of a complaint. You could smell the house. When we went inside, there were two dogs and a cat, dead. There were clothes in the closet and food in the refrigerator. There was feces maybe four inches deep throughout the house. It looked like the dogs had been living there alone for several weeks, but they had been dead for at least three. It looks like they died of starvation after they ate everything else they could find.”
Dixon said he does not understand how anyone could leave their animals in such conditions. The Jefferson County Health Department is also investigating the case. Charges may be brought against the previous homeowners.
In other news, several responsible pet owners are still awaiting the verdict on Clay’s vicious dog ordinance. City Attorney Alan Summers hopes to have any changes finalized before September.
Dogs were not the only animal discussed at Monday’s meeting. Fish have also become a concern. Cosby Lake has a problem with an overabundance of undersized bass.
The lake, which was stocked with catfish for last month’s fishing rodeo, can’t sustain the sheer number of bass still in residence. The council voted to suspend catch-and-release rules for any bass of less than 16 inches. Fishermen and women will still have to release any fish over that size. Those who fish are also not allowed to keep any brim that are caught. This will last through March 2014, Dixon said.
The council voted to spend $4,000 on 6,000 additional 5-inch brim, as well as $3,000 on red-fin minnows. These additional fish will be used to feed the bass, and create a more sustainable ecosystem. With these additional precautions, the lake’s bass can be expected to grow an additional two to three pounds within the next year, Mayor Charles Webster said.