By Gary Lloyd
Plaintiffs and defendants in a court case over the city of Clay’s vicious dog ordinance on Monday “jointly” asked for 60 more days to reach an agreement.
The filing in Jefferson County asked that “in the spirit of mutual cooperation” the parties have met and discussed the matter thoroughly. The discussions continue in “good faith,” according to the filing.
The city last month agreed to suspend enforcement of the ordinance as the parties worked to reach a resolution satisfactory to both. The court order stated that Clay city attorneys and plaintiffs Mary Schreiner and Stephen Schreiner were to appear in court on or before Sept. 15 to give Judge Joseph Boohaker a status report.
The breed specific ordinance was set to begin 60 days following the ordinance’s adoption June 3. A suit seeking an injunction was filed July 30 and a hearing had been set but was then delayed due to the parties being “in agreement to work cooperatively in an effort to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution to the claim involved herein.”
Mayor Charles Webster said at the time that he believed the plaintiffs were trying to “scare us into changing it without getting any kind of ruling on it.”
“My thought was to take it to the judge and let the judge decide and that way every city around us will know what they see,” Webster said. “We’ll be the guinea pig if that’s what we’ve got to be.”
According to the June ordinance, existing pit bull dogs, or any of their variations, must be registered with the city, no new pits may be brought into the city, and any newborn pit puppies will need to be removed from the city limits within a certain amount of time.
City Manager Ronnie Dixon said in late July that 15 to 18 pit bulls had been registered with the city since the ordinance took effect. 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.
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