Trish Mayer, a Camdenton citizen, spoke to the Board of Aldermen on Tuesday night and shared a story about her daughter who was mauled by a pit bull approximately five years ago and still needs surgeries to fix the damage done to her face and head, she said.

The second and final reading of an ordinance that would have lessened the restrictions on Camdenton’s dangerous dog regulations failed to gain a second motion after a mother shared a first-hand account of a pit bull attack on her daughter.

Trish Mayer, a Camdenton citizen, spoke to the Board of Aldermen on Tuesday night and shared a story about her daughter who was mauled by a pit bull approximately five years ago and still needs surgeries to fix the damage done to her face and head, she said.

“I come to you today not only as a concerned member of the community, but as a mother of a child who suffered at the jaws of a pit bull attack that was raised as a gentle family pet,” Mayer began her speech. “My daughter was mauled over five years ago and is still going through surgeries as a result. In fact, we were informed last Wednesday she needs another oral surgery.”

Mayer said she was born and raised in Versailles, but specifically moved back to the Lake area due to Camdenton’s ban on pit bulls, which was later altered to allow the dogs with specific and extensive accommodations and restrictions. She specifically opposed doing away with the $200,000 liability insurance requirement that she said she found to be offered by four different local insurance agents.

“The force of the bite was so strong it snapped her upper pallet in two and she would have lost her right eye if she wasn’t wearing prescription glasses at the time,” Mayer said. “That kind of insurance is absolutely necessary and required to deal with these attacks. The proposed changes to the current ordinance will only encourage people to bring in more pit bull types in our city and eventually pave the way to remove the ordinance entirely.”

Sections of the ordinance the Board were considering changing dealt with removing restrictions such as not allowing other dogs to be kept at a residence, a landlord and single family notice, the liability insurance, a window sticker or sign, and changing the age from 18 to 16 for securing the dog on a leash.

Mayor John McNabb said he understood where Mayer was coming from and personally agreed with her.

“I’m not sure that we made the right decision when we voted to allow these dogs, but the council did and we’ve had great difficulty enforcing this ordinance,” McNabb said. Police Chief Laura Wright agreed, adding that the issue also involved the designation of service and emotional support dogs, animal control enforcement and citizens failing to register their pets anymore for fear of being labeled and having to abide by the dangerous dog ordinance.

Alderwoman Bonnie Black opposed the proposed changes, stating she believed the insurance requirement should be kept and these types of dogs shouldn’t be allowed to live in multi-family residences. Alderwoman Sandy Osborn, who had opposed the first reading, was not present nor was Alderman Dan Hagedorn, who resigned earlier this week due to medical issues.

That left Alderwoman Sandy Gentry, who was nominated to replace Hagedorn as the president of the board, Alderman Gary Shepherd and Alderwoman Brenda Weir. That meant McNabb would have had to break a tie vote if the aldermen split 2-2 on the issue. However, no vote was necessary since Weir’s motion for the second and final reading was not seconded by Gentry, Shepherd, or Black, effectively killing the amendment as currently proposed.

McNabb tasked staff and aldermen to bring another amended proposal to the board for consideration in hopes off settling the issue.

The Board was in agreement to increase the fees associated with pet licensing for dogs and cats, which officials said hasn’t been done since the 1980s and the city was now paying a majority of the cost to have the dogs properly licensed.

The fiscal impact was estimated to be an increase in revenue of $1,390, according to staff documents.

The new ordinance states that a permit for each un-neutered or un-spayed dog or cat will now cost $25 as opposed to the $10 previously charged, and $10 as opposed to $5 for each neutered or spayed dog or cat. Permit/registration fees for each potentially dangerous dog will stay at $50.

For more information on the applicable ordinances, visit Chapter 211 - Dogs in the Camdenton City Code available at https://www.ecode360.com/28877398.