The proposed changes, according to staff documents, strike several of the additional safeguards and regulations required for housing a potentially dangerous dog within city limits.

The City of Camdenton is no stranger to controversies involving specific breeds of pets and the city’s subsequent efforts to regulate ‘potentially dangerous dogs.’

In 2014, the board of aldermen faced several criticisms for a pit bull and pit bull-type ban ordinance that was eventually rescinded in February 2015 and replaced with an ordinance identifying potentially dangerous breeds by a variety of characteristics with a strict set of owner responsibilities as well as additional neighborhood safeguards.

Since then, city officials have described the situation as a game of “cat-and-mouse” attempting to get citizens to follow the new ordinance, which was also legally challenged by a private citizen whose dog was classified as potentially dangerous and whose subsequent appeal was denied by the city.

Mayor John McNabb, City Administrator Jeff Hancock, City Clerk Renée Kingston, City Attorney Phil Morgan and Police Chief Laura Wright have met regarding the enforcement issues and plan to recommend to the board on Tuesday evening that specific changes to the current ordinance be approved.

The proposed changes, according to staff documents, strike several of the additional safeguards and regulations required for housing a potentially dangerous dog within city limits.

Sections proposed to be stricken from the ordinance follow:

1. “No other dogs may be kept at a residence with the one pit bull or potentially dangerous dog.”

2. “Single family and landlord notice. A potentially dangerous dog shall only be allowed in single family dwellings as defined in Chapter 400 herein. In the event a person wishes to possess a potentially dangerous dog and they are not the owner of the residence, they shall provide proof that they have provided notice to their landlord or the owner of the residence that they will possess a potentially dangerous dog at the residence.”

3. “Insurance. An owner of a potentially dangerous dog shall provide proof to the City on an annual basis of insurance coverage in an amount of not less than $200,000. Any such insurance provided may not contain an exclusion which would deny coverage for such dogs.”

4. “Window sticker or sign. A window sticker or sign must be posted on the owner’s property, visible from the street to indicate that a potentially dangerous dog resides on the property. Such sign must be clearly visible from the street or sidewalk if possible.”

5. “Must be restrained by means of a secure leash held by a person over the age of 16, (strike 18), who has the ability to control the dog.”

City staff also plans to propose increases to pet licensing fees that would have a fiscal impact equaling an increase in revenue by $1,390, according to staff documents.

The current licensing ordinance states that a pet owner residing within city limits shall procure a license from the city for all dogs and cats over the age of six months of age that is effective from Jan.1 to Dec. 31 of each year.

Staff has proposed increasing the license fee for each un-neutered or un-spayed dog or cat from $10 to $25 and for each neutered or spayed dog or cat from $5 to $10. Permit/Registration fees for each potentially dangerous dog listed at $50 was not proposed to be increased.

The board of aldermen are scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. on Oct. 3, 2017 at Camdenton City Hall.