Month 1997-4 April
Meeting of 1997-4-10 Special Meeting
LAWTON CITY SPECIAL COUNCIL MEETING
APRIL 10, 1997 - 6:00 P.M.
WAYNE GILLEY CITY HALL COUNCIL CHAMBER
John T. Marley, Mayor Also Present:
Presiding Gil Schumpert, City Manager
Felix Cruz, City Attorney
Sandra Rench, Deputy City Clerk
The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. Notice of meeting
and agenda were posted on the City Hall bulletin board as
required by State law.
Present: Jody Maples, Ward One
Richard Williams, Ward Two
John Purcell, Ward Four
Robert Shanklin, Ward Five
Charles P. Beller, Ward Six
Carol Green, Ward Seven
Randy Warren, Ward Eight
John T. Marley, Mayor
Absent: Joe Dutcher, Ward Three
1. Consider adopting an ordinance relating to animals,
amending Chapter 5, Lawton City Code, as amended by Ordinances
95-26 and 96-20. EXHIBITS: MEMORANDA TO MAYOR AND COUNCIL DATED
MARCH 13 AND 21, 1997.
Schumpert said staff found that it had been many years since this
Chapter had been addressed and as they looked at the changes
determined the best approach was to revise, review and recommend
changes for the entire Chapter. Mr. Mike Shaw is over the Animal
Welfare Division and is present to review the changes and the
reasons for the changes.
Shaw acknowledged the efforts and time spent on the revisions of
this ordinance by staff members, Mickey Crestmen, who was the
Animal Welfare Supervisor until last June, Rose Wilson, the
present Supervisor and Felix Cruz. He said those staff members
and himself have spent many hours in discussions and he
appreciated their efforts during this process. The Animal Welfare
budget is approximately $320,000, they generate approximately
$20,000 to $25,000 in revenue during the year from license, spay
and neuter fees and fines, so therefore, if they take the actual
revenue generated by the Animal Welfare Division and subtract
that from their budget it costs the City approximately $290,000
to $300,000 a year to administer the operation of the Division
with 10 people who do an outstanding job. He said he provided the
City Council a memorandum on March 21, concerning a meeting he
had with some citizens on March 20; and corrected the number of
animals authorized for Oklahoma City which he had listed as four
dogs and cats, Oklahoma City actually authorizes four dogs and
Shaw reviewed the Summary of Changes for Chapter 5 and said he
will review the change, note the location of the change in the
Code and explain why they are making the recommendation.
Purcell asked if Shaw is going to refer to the line number in the
new ordinance as he goes through it.
Shaw said he will reference the location of the summary item by
page and line in the new ordinance provided with the Agenda Item.
Shaw reviewed the definition for abandonment, located on Page 1,
referenced on Page 16, beginning on Line 13.
Beller said "if the animal welfare officer determines that the
animals life is in immediate danger" and asked what immediate
Shaw said it means that the animal doesn't have any food or water
or it is apparent that it hasn't had any food or water for a
number of days. He said if that situation arises they will give
them food and water and will leave a door knocker and hopefully
the resident will come home and take care of the animal. He said
if they go back in 24 hours and the owner is still not there and
they still can't locate them, they will wait another 48 hours and
will not take that animal. If the life is in danger, if it looks
emaciated or really in bad shape they will immediately take it to
Beller said beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, one person may
look at it and determine that the animal's life is not in
immediate danger and someone who is a bit over zealous in their
efforts to perform their duties may believe it is in danger and
will take it immediately.
Shaw said it is a subjective call on the animal welfare officer,
all the officers are trained, have gone to the national academy
and therefore, he thinks they have a good knowledge if something
is in immediate danger. They will try to make contact with the
owner if at all possible.
Williams asked if it would be prudent to identify what is meant
by immediate danger, possibly a definition.
Beller asked if emaciated sounds logical, if you see an animal
that is emaciated it is obvious that the animal has been abused
or mistreated but if it's a healthy looking animal how can you
determine if the animal is in danger.
Purcell said they would leave it up to the animal welfare
Shaw said Tony Lopez, Animal Welfare Officer, has told him that
if it is in immediate danger, in their opinion where it appears a
dog may die within four to six hours, they normally use four
hours, they will take it to a veterinarian and have the animal
checked out. He said you pretty much have to leave it at the
discretion of the animal welfare officer.
Williams asked who pays for taking the animal to the
veterinarian. Shaw said if they can identify the owner the owner
will pay the bill and if they do not, since the City seized the
animal, the City will have to pay bill but this is done for a
Beller said they discussed a change on Page 3, line 40. Shaw said
he will make that change, on the summary of changes he didn't
include every single change that is being recommended to the
ordinance for discussion purposes because they would be there all
Beller said if he was willing to set there all night in order to
know what the changes are and the purpose of the ordinance, if
they are not being told what all the changes are, what are they
at the meeting for. Shaw said Council agreed on the 20th that
they would change the physical appearance and that is the only
other change in the Code that you do not know about that isn't in
your Code. Beller asked if they are changing that. Shaw said yes
Schumpert asked what the change is that is being referred to.
Shaw said on line 40, Page 3, the definition of dangerous animal
"Any animal because of its physical nature or vicious propensity"
a question was raised in regard to physical nature and that is a
subjective call. He said you can go up to a German Shepherd and
because of its physical nature, to him it may mean it would be
dangerous and to another person it may be docile but because of
that subjectivity he agreed to remove physical. The item will
then read "Any animal which because of its nature or vicious
propensity" the word physical is being eliminated.
Cruz said the definition of "Vicious animal" or "dangerous
animal" is not pertaining to dangerous dogs because there is a
definition of dangerous dog at another location. The dangerous
dog provision is on Page 18 and is Statutory language under Title
4; Page 3 is any animals other than dogs.
Shaw reviewed the definition of "at large" or "running at large"
and "confinement" on Page 1 of the ordinance, definitions 5 and
6. Confinement includes a fenced yard. He said an example of that
is on Page 11, Line 25, of the ordinance which is highlighted. He
said they get several calls every day from citizens of a dog
running loose in the neighborhood, the dog will be sitting on the
front porch of a house which is considered private property and
have to assume the dog lives at that house. He said presently
they can't physically remove that dog, however with the change,
they will assume if it is not inside the house, under control of
a person or behind a fence that it is running at large and can
confiscate and impound the animal.
Shanklin asked if for example, a dog is outside with its owner
who may be working on his car and someone comes running down the
street or on a bicycle and the dog leaves the grounds and creates
a problem, leaving that property, it is fair game to be picked up
even if he goes back.
Shaw said if the animal goes back and the owner or a responsible
person, someone 18 or older, and the dog is running loose and it
is on the porch they are going to consider it as running at large
and will impound him.
Shanklin said his scenario was where the owner is in the yard,
the dog leaves the yard and may create a scene, but eventually
goes back and they get a call about a dog running loose under an
owner that is 18 years or older.
Shaw said it wouldn't be a problem if a person claims the dog or
a person tells them they will take responsibility for the dog
because they know the owner, they will not impound it and that is
also covered in the ordinance.
Schumpert said if this dog attacks someone or chases kids and the
owner is there, they would expect the complainant, since the
owner is present, to sign a complaint because it is incumbent on
the individual who had the problem to file a complaint in
Municipal Court. He said if the dog is out and runs back to a
house and is just laying on the porch heretofore they couldn't do
anything because they had to presume that dog belonged to that
house, however now, if nobody is around they would actually
impound that dog and take some action to remove the dog from that
Shanklin said that would be at the animal control officer's
Beller asked if there wouldn't be a problem legally with the use
of the word presumed if they are presuming that the animal is
Cruz said the presumption arises based on what has been seen and
reported by some individual or the animal control officer that
these things are happening therefor it is presumed that it is
running at large.
Beller asked if someone calls and the animal control officer gets
there and no one is present to talk to and the animal control
officer observes the dog on the porch is he just going to presume
that the dog lying there is running loose, does he make that
presumption on his own.
Cruz said yes, based on the fact that it is the description of
the dog and where it is at.
Green said in Ranch Oaks there are seven Rottweilers that
frequently get out, they have been cited twice and the ordinance
says the owner will be cited and go to Municipal Court and asked
how many times the owner can be cited because they have been out
Shaw said as far as he knew it is unlimited, they had a call on
the same dogs today. Green said they were out on Sunday also.
Shaw said they run back onto Indian land.
Cruz said the presumption is rebuttal, for example, if it goes to
court, the owner can rebut the presumption and that gives the
owner an ability to prove their case before the judge.
Shaw referenced the next definition A.7 cruelty, which is on Page
16 with the abandonment and reviewed the definition.
Green said there was a Doberman that had a dog house and water
but there were no trees or house shade, the temperature got up to
101 and the only shade the dog had was the dog house. She said
they couldn't be cited because they weren't in violation.
Shaw said under the present Code that is correct because it
doesn't provide for shade, but they have included in the Code
that they must be provided with shade.
Mayor Marley said there is shade in the dog house. Shaw said they
have to have shade outside. Mayor Marley asked if they were going
to make people plant trees. Shaw said a lean-to or dog house,
something that will provide shade.
Maples asked if the dog was ever in the house. Green said no, it
is an outside dog and she received a lot of calls on it and they
couldn't do anything.
Mayor Marley said he didn't understand Shaw's response because
shade in a dog house is shade. Shaw said if there is a dog house
it doesn't really matter, he can't imagine there not being any
shade in the dog house.
Shaw said Rose Wilson told him that if a resident has a run and
it just has a dog house that isn't adequate shade and they would
have to put up a tarp or shield of some sort. With the addition
of shade they can site them now and they would be required to
provide adequate shade.
Maples said they are already having problems with the
interpretation of the Code and what is going to happen when
others try to interpret the Code when you try to enforce it.
Cruz asked if Shaw is referencing the interpretation of what
shade is. Shaw said Green asked about a shade provision because
of a call she had of cruelty to an animal not having any shade
and they couldn't do anything about it because there were no
provisions for shade.
Cruz said because of this concern they need to define adequate
Beller said there is a reference in the Code on Page 17 on
enclosure in regard to height and shade and it is referencing
something other than a dog house.
Green said it is also referenced on Page 16, line 39.
Purcell asked what adequate shade is, the example provided was
that if he had no dog house and bought a dog house the dog would
now have adequate shade; but what he understands from Shaw is
that if he has a dog with a dog house and it is 105 you need
more shade than that. He said he agreed but there is the argument
as to whether a dog house provides adequate shade, it doesn't
make any sense and they are never going to get there.
Cruz said they need to define adequate shade.
Shaw said the keeper definition Page 20, line 23, for dangerous
dogs was modified from 16 to 18 years of age and read 5-2-203.A.
Maples said her 16 year old son wouldn't be able to walk their
dog. Shaw said only if the dog has been declared a dangerous dog
because this pertains to dangerous dogs which is defined on Page
18, line 37.
Maples asked if these dogs are ruled in court to be dangerous or
is there some record indicating it is dangerous.
Shaw said no, if they make the determination that a dog has
attacked a human being or another animal unprovoked there are
certain provisions for confinement, physical control by someone
at all times and insurance for the dog.
Maples asked if her 16 year-old son is walking her Rottweiler
with her 7 year-old daughter and another dog comes up and attacks
her children, and her dog protects her children he wouldn't be
determined dangerous because he was provoked.
Shaw said if he was provoked he will not be declared dangerous;
it is only if it were unprovoked.
Maples asked if you have to have insurance once the dog is ruled
dangerous. Shaw said yes and a sign has to be posted on the fence
or house of a dangerous or vicious dog.
Cruz said he has had several phone calls from owners of dogs on
the insurance issue, that is a State law requirement and the
provision on dangerous dogs in this ordinance is almost a mirror
image of the State law.
Purcell asked if the city declares the dog dangerous can the dog
only be walked by 18 years old or older and before the City
declares it a dangerous dog, a person any age can walk the dog,
is that how they know it is a dangerous dog. Shaw said that is
Schumpert said before it can be declared a dangerous dog it has
to do one of the stipulations on Page 18.
Purcell said if a dog is out and attacks another dog unprovoked
right then he is a dangerous dog but no one knows about it and
the next day a 16 year-old is walking that dog, it's not
dangerous because they haven't declared it dangerous, is that
correct. Shaw said yes, if the City is notified of an incident
where it has attacked or bitten someone they take the report and
go through the proper procedures to classify it as dangerous.
Shaw reviewed 5-114A.3 and said in 1995 the City took the
responsibility for issuing permits from the Health Department so
therefore this is a housecleaning issue.
Maples said once they declare a dog dangerous, are they going to
give the owner a permit to walk this dangerous dog. Shaw said you
won't have to have a permit to walk the dog. Maples asked how
they are going to know if a dog is dangerous to stop and see if
they have a permit to walk the dog or not. Shaw said they will
have a record of any dog that has been declared as dangerous and
the neighbors are going to know because of the signs on their
fence or house. He said if a citizen sees someone walking this
dog and know or feels the dog is dangerous they can call and the
Staff will check and make sure the person is 18 years old or
older. He said unless they get a call they won't know whether a
14 year old is walking the animal; the owner will know that no
one under the age of 18 is allowed to walk the dog and if they
are found to be in violation they can be cited, but there is no
way to really check it unless someone calls.
Shanklin said in order to eliminate that if the dog has been
declared that violent, he shouldn't even be allowed out of his
domain, his back yard, period unless he goes straight to a
vehicle. He asked why they should have a dangerous animal and if
you have a dangerous animal, that is your problem, but you are
not going to infringe that on the rest of the citizens by taking
him for a walk or whatever.
Schumpert said the Animal Welfare people are faced with what
could be considered akin to a Highway Patrol Officer enforcing
the revocation of a driver's license. They would have no way of
knowing a license was revoked unless they had to stop you and the
penalty would be more severe. He said if a person has been put on
notice, has met all the requirements, including having an
approved muzzle and then lets a 14 year old walk the dog and it
does something to someone, that person would be in serious
trouble with the City and a civil suit with the other party
because the animal had been declared dangerous and he was on
notice that it was dangerous.
Shanklin said if they have that dangerous an animal it shouldn't
be allowed out of the back yard. Schumpert said that is another
option. Shanklin asked why they would put everyone else at risk.
Shaw said they would have to have a muzzle.
Cruz said this language is taken from the State law which
provides that it is unlawful for a dangerous dog to be outside
the enclosure without being on a leash and under the
responsibility of a responsible person but they can be more
strict than the State law because there is no prohibition on
Shanklin asked what would happen if they said that, he would like
to see them entertain that thought and whenever the people in the
audience come before them they can voice a difference of opinion
but he doesn't want to live beside an animal that is considered
that dangerous because it can get out a dozen different ways.
Williams said he agrees to a point but if the animal is muzzled
he wouldn't have a problem with it, they allow 16 year olds to
drive a car on the streets of the City and sometimes he doesn't
see that this would be any more dangerous and doesn't know if it
would be a big issue or not.
Shanklin asked what happens if a 14 or 15 year old is walking a
dog without a muzzle and someone sees him and knows it's supposed
to be muzzled and calls in and by the time the ACO gets there the
animal is back in the yard, now what do you do; that would be
eliminated if you can't take him out of that back yard unless you
take him to your car and leave the City limits.
Shaw said the City at the present time does not have any dogs in
the City of Lawton declared dangerous or vicious.
Shanklin requested they go on.
Shaw reviewed the definition for "Run" on Page 3 and referenced
on Page 17 which changes the amount of space required within a
yard for exercise to 150 square feet because in their opinion 100
square feet is not adequate.
Maples asked what the American Kennel Association (AKA) requires.
Shaw said he didn't know. Maples said she can't see them being
more stringent than the professionals' in this area, they don't
want more than the AKA when they are the experts and the City
shouldn't exceed their requirements.
Shanklin asked why they are changing this part. Shaw said they
can leave it at 100 square feet if they want.
Schumpert said he thinks Council is requesting the same standard
as the AKA and if the AKA has a standard what is it. Shaw said he
doesn't know but they can put the AKA standard in the ordinance.
Maples said the staff is coming to the Council and doesn't know
what the professional standards are. Shaw said this does not
pertain to a kennel, it pertains to a run, it's different.
Maples asked what is required of kennels where animals are
stored. Shaw said that is a different story, normally if you go
away you store your animal with a veterinarian in a kennel and
they have dog runs but the dog kennel for a veterinarian does not
have to comply with this code, they are not under this.
Maples said the veterinarian's runs meet the AKA requirements
which is less than ours and we are asking them to open the same
type of business and be more stringent than the professionals
that oversee that type of business.
Schumpert said Maples is requesting the same standard as the AKA
Mayor Marley said they can find out what the standard is and pick
up the same standard.
Shaw said the next item is the small animal definition which now
includes pot bellied pigs and was approved by the City Council.
Beller said under the small animals they deleted guinea pigs and
modified small animals to include pot bellied pigs. Shaw said he
doesn't know why guinea pigs was in there to begin with. Beller
asked why they left hamsters in there. Shaw said they can take
hamsters out too.
Beller said this is the whole point, they are trying to iron out
an ordinance being brought to them and no forethought was put to
this at all when they scratch guinea pigs but leave hamsters; and
have pigeons except homing pigeons and there may be a difference
but he doesn't know what it is but yet they scratch guinea pigs
and leave hamsters and there probably isn't any difference
between the two.
Mayor Marley asked if Beller would like to scratch guinea pigs
and hamsters. Beller said no, he would like them to bring the
ordinance back in a reasonable form.
Mayor Marley said if that is the case, if they are going to sit
here all night nit-picking items, they have a lot of delicate
items because if they want the ordinance redone they need to send
it back to staff and ask them to redo it and bring it back. There
is no sense in going through all this and then have to go through
it again. He said if they feel that strongly about it he would
like a motion to suspend it, give it back to the staff, have it
redone and then bring it back to the Council.
Maples said they need some input on what the people would like to
see in the ordinance.
MOTION by Shanklin, SECOND by Maples, to suspend this and open up
a public hearing.
Shanklin said he would like to hear what the people have to say
and then go into this and transfer the knowledge staff provides,
the knowledge they have, give it to staff and then look at it. He
said he wanted to hear from Dr. Kiehn, the ACO's, the people that
work at the shelter and then look at this thing.
Beller asked what the motion is.
Shanklin said the motion is to table any further discussion of
this ordinance until they have listened to what the people in the
audience have to say and their concerns of this ordinance because
they have probably read it more than the Council has in detail,
and then go into their discussion.
Beller said he concurred.
VOTE ON MOTION: AYE: Williams, Purcell, Shanklin, Beller, Green,
Warren, Maples. NAY: None. MOTION CARRIED.
Mayor Marley asked if the Council would like to hear from the
Animal Control people first or the audience.
Maples said she would like to hear from Dr. Kiehn.
Mayor Marley said if they open it to Dr. Kiehn they have to open
it to all the audience.
Cruz said for the benefit of the Council and the audience, 98% of
the animal code they are looking into has been in effect since
1970 and may be where the guinea pigs and hamsters came in. He
said several years ago there was a committee created with 8 or 10
members and most of the recommendations they made were included
in the code so they are reviewing what has been in existence and
has been refined on a recent basis.
Mayor Marley opened the public hearing and asked anyone desiring
to speak to the Council on this issue to come forward, to
restrict their comments to 3 minutes and that if the people
following don't repeat the same item and if they have something
new would like to hear from them.
Beller asked about the legal issue, if they can have a public
hearing. Cruz said what the Mayor meant was that he would allow
the audience to speak and provide information to the Council.
Cheryl Schmidt said she and her husband have Cairn Terriers which
they show at championships and breed. She said they don't over
breed, sell to appropriate people and are very careful in taking
care of their dogs. The dogs have been a big concern for them
since they started doing this about 8 years ago. When they breed
they have to keep their puppies until they are about a year old
because they have to make sure they have the right confirmation
and if they are show worthy they want to keep them because they
are worth money; if they aren't, they sell them. She said in the
past she has had the puppies and broke the law because they kept
the puppies until they were about 9 months old and they plan on
doing it again sometime in the future. She said she didn't like
breaking the law but it is difficult for someone who is
responsible. They also don't spay or neuter their dogs because of
this fact. They keep them under control and watch them and if
they accidentally get out she shouldn't have to pay any more to
get her animal out than those people who are not responsible who
just let their animals run all over the place, don't care or dump
them. She said she didn't mind paying for registration of her
dogs but to have to pay so much for them is terrible, the dogs
she has now have the life membership. The City is hurting those
who are responsible in an attempt to get to those who are not
responsible by charging such large fees and by the number of dogs
she can have.
Williams asked Ms. Schmidt an estimate of how many puppies their
dog may have.
Schmidt said her dog had 5 the last time and it is anywhere from
1 to 5 in the Cairn Terrier. She said there are some owners that
have big dogs and doesn't know how many they may have but they
are just as responsible as she is and knows of some who have
wooden fences so they can't tell how many they do have but right
now she has only 3.
Williams asked if her animals are inside or outside.
Schmidt said they are inside, they keep them inside and have runs
in their door, a little run in one wall and have a separate run
inside the fenced yard.
Williams asked if they normally have up to 5 puppies and not two
pairs with up to 10 puppies.
Schmidt said she has had 3 dogs for several years, they have a
real good championship pedigree bloodline which is in the Cairn
Terrier book and is why they would like to pass the name on.
Purcell said if everyone was as responsible as Mrs. Schmidt and
some of the other people in the audience they could take the
ordinance and throw it away, the problem is there are a lot of
people that are not responsible and therefore they have to have
the ordinance for all those people who are irresponsible and it
impacts on the others.
Schmidt said those people that are irresponsible are not going to
pay to register their dogs, they are not going to pick up their
dog when it gets picked up where she would pay the $135 or $150
if she had to.
Purcell said that is being changed but if everyone were like her
they wouldn't need the ordinance and the ordinance isn't for
people like her in the number of dogs it impacts.
Schmidt said if he saw her outside with her three dogs plus the
puppies, which could be 6 or 9 months old, running around in her
back yard out of the run, because she doesn't have a wooden
fence, he would call and she would be ticketed. She said she
wanted to stay within the law and if there was a deal with 3
animals for people who don't want to have a kennel; because she
doesn't want to be required to have a concrete run and the things
defined by a kennel, she wouldn't mind paying for a permit to
have a litter. She said she knows of people who have other
animals besides dogs.
Mayor Marley asked if Schmidt had a number to recommend.
Schmidt said it is difficult to say but would say at least 8 to
10 for a litter, if you have a litter you aren't going to keep
that litter all the time, you are going to keep some of them,
take them to the championship and sell them.
Purcell asked what if the ordinance said you could only have 3
and you could apply for a kennel license without being required
to have all of the other stuff allowing 10 dogs, if Schmidt would
have any problem with that.
Schmidt said no, but there was a group that wanted them to have a
concrete run, etc. and she has her dogs in her house and lives
Maples said she would have to have a kennel license. Shanklin
asked if Schmidt has a kennel. Schmidt said no, she has 3 dogs.
Shanklin asked if her dogs are registered with the AKC and if she
has a kennel. Schmidt said they do have that and call themselves
the Bear House Kennel.
Shanklin said he is trying to separate those in her category from
those that just have 8 or 10 back yard dogs.
Schmidt said she wouldn't mind having a restriction for AKC dogs
because you have to have AKC to show them.
Shanklin asked if AKC has a registry itself that says she is a
part of it. Schmidt said yes and has tattooed it on her dogs plus
has a special chip in their back.
Shanklin asked if in order to have AKC registration they have to
be certified and verified that they do have a certain animal.
Schmidt said to be registered AKC it is a special permit that is
filled out and sent back to them, it is on record for anyone to
see and if she were at a show in Dallas and were to lose her dog
anyone who found her dog could find out that she was the owner of
the dog by the tattoo.
Shanklin asked if she is recognized somewhere other than Lawton,
Oklahoma. Schmidt said yes.
Shanklin said there are people that are recognized elsewhere and
they are penalizing the people that take care of their animals if
they make it $200 a year for them to do this and understands and
doesn't want to do that but doesn't want to have a back yard full
of dogs by everybody who wants them.
Schmidt said when she had all those puppies she only let a few
out at a time so they weren't a nuisance to the neighborhood.
Beller said Wichita Falls has a hobby breeder permit and they
should ask Mr. Shaw to look into that because they may be able to
get some information there.
Shaw said Wichita Falls does have a hobby breeder permit where
the citizens can have four adult dogs or cats over the age of 6
months and there is no limit on animals under the age of 6 months
which allows for litters which need to be disposed of by the time
they reach 6 months of age. He said they can have more but they
have to register them with the City.
Tamara Watson said she thinks it should be on an individual basis
because she has seen people with one dog with a yard that looks
like trash and then there are people who have 3 dogs and their
yards are immaculate. She asked why they should be penalized
because someone else doesn't want to take care of their dogs.
Bill Koch, 7210 SW Oxford, said he and his wife show and do
obedience training with their dogs as a hobby throughout the
nation, have the number 1 German Shepherd champion male in the
state and has placed in the top 30 in the nation. He has another
dog that is a son of a 3 time select national champion. His
intent in being present is to inform and ask the City Council to
work with them to make things more positive in the City. The
ordinance was developed by staff which included VAPS and the City
Attorney without any public input or input from the Sprucewood
Training Association, the Lawton Ft. Sill Kennel Club or any
other organization. He said they were told two veterinarians in
town reviewed it and provided input, they contacted them and
found out that one of them had not seen the ordinance and the
other had been given the ordinance but had not read it before it
was taken back. He said he furnished the Council with three legal
cases decided by superior courts in Pennsylvania and Minnesota
that number limitations violated constitutional rights of
citizens, Tulsa is currently considering a major revision to
their animal ordinance. Based on these court cases presented by
the Texas Animal Rights Coalition, Plano and Big Springs, Texas,
city attorneys and councils decided not to have numbers and
limitations on pets. The ordinance was also reviewed by the
American Dog Owner's Association, a local attorney and the Texas
The ordinance is ambiguous, impugns the civil liberties of many
Lawton citizens by various restrictions to include number of
limitations, seizures of animals, coming onto property and other
areas. He said the ordinance takes authority from the City
Council, the citizen's representatives, and turns it over to the
City Manager in some cases. He and others he has talked to felt
that animal control for the City of Lawton should be more
concerned with nuisance; stronger ordinance towards nuisance,
sanitation, strays, abuse and viciousness, which is not
statistically supported by number limitations. Currently as
written a person can have 2 pot bellied pigs and 3 dogs or cats,
or a combination of dogs and cats plus 12 small animals, rabbits
and fowls for example. Not everyone does the things they do with
their pets but most care for their animals and keep their yards
clean with respect to their neighbors.
This ordinance allows for transfer of animals to a local adoption
organization with no fee, back door transfer of city property;
animals from city property transferred to VAPS which is a non
licensed, non insured, non bonded volunteer organization, he said
he knew this because he had been a member of VAPS, with members
that own over the limits of cats and dogs. It has homes listed as
VAPS rescue homes when in fact some of these people do not
rescue. He said he was looking at why one group of people was
somewhat favored and another group not. He quoted Bill Baker as
saying that the City closes its eyes to VAPS. Koch said VAPS has
some places that are not rescue homes, in fact they just have
numbers of animals, there have been 80 transfers of animals in
the past year for placement. He said with this transfer if
someone were injured by an animal placed by VAPS it is
conceivable they could sue the City for supporting VAPS by
allowing this to happen.
He said they work with the National Rescue Directory with
licensed and insured or bonded organizations for rescue. Perhaps
they may be allowed to have a kennel license but if that were the
case he wouldn't want it to include the specifications of a
kennel as listed in the ordinance because of the harm it would be
to pads, bones, ligaments and hips. He said he thought Dr. Joe
Kiehn could attest to that as well.
He said he and others would be willing to serve on a committee to
resolve some of these existing differences concerning this
ambiguous ordinance. Some people have said that the military is
part of the problem concerning the disposition of pets and
proposed a liaison between Ft. Sill and the City to be
established to develop guidelines for military personnel and
their families regarding pet ownership as part of military in-processing briefings at Ft. Sill. He said
as a retired field
grade officer he would be willing to volunteer to make this
He said the elderly parents of friends of his were placed in a
nursing home and could not have their three dogs with them so his
friends took them in as opposed to putting them to sleep which
gave them 5 dogs within the ages of 10 to 18 years of age.
Because of the ordinance his friends were afraid of being
reported and having the dogs seized by animal control, they
converted their garage to provide everything needed for the five
dogs and because of their intense fear they would not let more
than one dog out at a time so no one would know they had 5. They
eventually sold their home and moved away from Lawton.
He asked why ordinances such as this are designed to cause their
citizens to be fearful of the city government that should be
serving them and helping citizens. They should be embodied as a
group working in harmony with each other rather than being on
opposite sides of the fence. He thanked the Council members for
the opportunity to speak.
Green left the meeting during the previous presentation.
Williams asked if Mr. Koch felt there should be no limit on the
number of animals a person can have.
Koch said it violates their civil liberties, and thought that Mr.
Cruz should have received a letter from a local attorney today
and if not should be getting it shortly. He said this has been
reviewed by the legal department of the American Dog Owner's
Association and by the Texas Coalition and they are just asking
that they not impugn their civil liberties based upon the fact
that they have a few people that are not responsible. He said
they would join them and form a committee to review these actions
if necessary to bring these people under control and to educate
but asked they not come shooting at the rest of them.
Williams asked if he owns some animals and if he could ask how
many he owns. Koch said no he could not ask, he would not say
whether he had 3 animals or over that limit at this time.
Williams asked if Koch also trains other peoples dogs. Koch said
he has trained some others, he trained his own and has a
professional handler that helps him train and show. He said he
shows one of their dogs but does not show his champion and named
the many states they have been in to show and they have a lot of
money. He said if they wanted to buy his champion they would be
talking between $15,000 and $20,000 and he wouldn't let any of
his dogs go for any amount of money.
Williams said even though the people present are responsible
owners there are people they will have to deal with as far as
Koch said they don't have to deal with them with a number, they
have to deal with them on stronger nuisance, sanitation and abuse
type regulations because that is what the problem is. If there is
one dog in the neighborhood that yaps all night he would probably
want to strangle it, if there is a cat running loose that's going
to scratch his car he will want to find out who that owner is
because he is going to suit them for liable to fix his car, that
is what needs to be looked at, it is not the numbers, they cannot
statistically say that it is the numbers. Koch said if they were
to site Jack Moortel then maybe they could site him and some of
the other VAPS people that own animals like Michelle Norton who
has 13 and is protected by VAPS.
Mayor Marley said they don't need to go into that.
Koch said he apologized, he came here with the intent of asking
for their help because the number limitation is not the solution;
nuisance, abuse, sanitation, viciousness and strays is the
problem and they would help to educate these people.
Warren asked Cruz if the Oklahoma State law gives the city's the
right to set a number on the amount of animals they can have in a
Cruz said there is no provision in the State law as far as
Dr. Joe Kiehn, 7911 Folkstone Way, said he knows that Mr. Koch
talked about several items and a lot of things that are
important. He said there are cases in Pennsylvania, Colorado,
Minnesota, etc. that have all found the dog limit
unconstitutional and a violation of your civil liberties. He said
he has to assume this information was given to the staff doing
the ordinance. When they found out the ordinance was going to be
written they asked to meet with them to give them some of their
input, that did not happen, it sat in the attorney's office for a
month. He said Mr. Beller found out what was going on and the
next thing they know they are told it will be on the agenda in a
week with no input or anything, they didn't want any input. He
said Cruz referenced a committee they had several years ago to
redo the ordinance, the committee came up with a recommendation
and it was trash canned, the ordinance was not put into effect,
as he recalled, Debbie Jones, the Mayor and Mr. Owens, the Animal
Welfare Supervisor at that time, redid the ordinance and it was
passed according to their revision, the committee's
recommendations weren't even considered.
He said the other day he heard a news item by an attorney who
said if five states have a law that is found unconstitutional in
one state, it is void and invalid in any state because it is a
violation of their civil rights. He said this is something the
Council really needs to look at because he sat up there, was sued
personally for $32 million on the cable vision law suit and the
Council will loose a little sleep over it. The only two ways the
Council can be sued is through a tax payer demand and a violation
of someone's civil rights and that means they are personally
liable. He said he doesn't feel they had been given, by the legal
staff, all the input they should have gotten. Looking back at
what he found out afterwards, they met with their high dollar
legal attorney and she said it doesn't matter whether you are
guilty or not it is how much money they are going to get and he
had asked where their city attorney was because he would go back
and ask that gentleman that same question. Essentially the
Council doesn't have to worry about the staff, Mr. Schumpert or
the legal staff being sued, it is their own personal risk if they
violate someone's civil liberties, he didn't want to see anyone
He said some of the things that were touched on, which were
pretty offensive, he didn't think there was any animal control
officer anywhere that should be given the authority to enter
anyone's personal property and take an animal. He said the police
have to have a warrant, if they try to go in and seize without a
warrant it is thrown out of court as inadmissable; if they
illegally obtain, through seizure, an animal from someone's
property, even if it is undernourished, if they illegally obtain
that evidence it will be thrown out of court. He said an animal
control officer should not have any more powers than a police
officer. He said under the kennel definition if they have 4 or
more it is a kennel and they have to meet all the kennel
specifications, when you go to the kennel specifications most of
the zoning requirements prohibit having a kennel. He said when he
built his clinic in 1978 he wasn't allowed outside runs, they
were prohibited, everything had to be enclosed. If a commercial
establishment can't get an outside run how can a citizen get an
outside type kennel approved. He said a gentlemen in New York
said the city has to prove that more than 3 dogs or cats is a
nuisance, threat or health to the well being of human life,
whatever. In these cases that were settled, the ruling was that
you had to go on a case by case basis, you have one person with
an animal they don't take care of maybe it needs to be taken away
from them and charges filed. He said he had many people in his
practice that had more than 3 animals where they could go to
their house and leave without knowing they had more than 3
animals, they are taken care of better than a lot of children
are, in fact a lot of these people don't have children, the
animals are their children. He said the city had to prove there
was a problem with 3 or more animals and in these other cases
they couldn't prove it and lost, some of them went through 3
appeals and the 3 dog limit was ruled unconstitutional. He said
he doesn't want to see the Council get into a legal battle down
the road because of this.
He said a veterinarian has to buy the euthanasia solution for the
City of Lawton, Dr. Kelsey did it for years, a friend of his did
it and when he asked him if he knew that if something were to go
wrong he would be legally responsible he quit doing it and
another gentleman did it and he woke up. They went to Dr. Haney,
wanting him to furnish the euthanasia solution and he called the
Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs and they told
him it wasn't illegal but that he would be 100 percent
responsible for every bottle, every drop of the euthanasia
solution. He said there are two court cases pending, one in
Oklahoma City and one in Bartlesville and the only person getting
sued is the veterinarian because he is 100 percent responsible.
If it isn't in your locked cabinet under your direct supervision
you have no control and one area the city will have a problem
with is that there isn't going to be anyone willing to furnish
the euthanasia solution unless they contract with someone to do
that type of service. He said this is a legal problem and he
wouldn't send it down there for someone who could kill himself,
it has been done, he knows of cases in Texas where people
euthanized themselves with a veterinarian's euthanisation
solution, it has to be under lock and key.
He said there are a lot of different items in the ordinance that
are very vague and repetitive. One of the gentlemen he spoke to
told them it was probably the biggest mess he had ever had faxed
to him as far as an ordinance was concerned. He said they have
selective enforcement of the 3 animal, 3 dog limit. He knows of a
black family across from Gibson's that had 5 dogs who were were
forced to give up 2. The individual was told that they didn't
think his commanding officer would like to hear from them and
that is threatening and out of line on the part of the animal
shelter personnel, or ACO's. He said one of the Council members
has 4 dogs and he didn't think they had been knocking on his door
trying to get him to give up one of his pets. He said the whole
point was that selective enforcement was discrimination and he
didn't want to see the Council get into a situation of
discrimination, letting VAPS people have 10 animals was
discrimination against him, he can't have that many and if they
overlook it it may be okay but if they are going to recognize one
organization what would keep someone else from starting up an
organization and say they are going to recover and adopt animals,
they could use that as a cover to have more animals. The whole
point is they have to be consistent or they are discriminating.
He said the ordinance needs a lot of work and asked how many of
the ACO's are State certified to right tickets.
Shaw said it isn't a state requirement for Animal Welfare
Officers to be certified in order to write tickets.
Kiehn said in regard to the kennel requirements if you put a dog
on concrete you are going to destroy the animals legs and hair
coat, it will have callouses and will not be a show animal. He
said most show animals live and stay in the house, it would be
cruel and inhumane to put them out on the concrete when they are
used to a featherbed. He said they really need to look at the
issues, he didn't want to see the Council get into a situation
where they wish they would have done something different.
Christian Koch, 7210 SW Oxford, said the ordinance needs to
reflect the upcoming change in the Oklahoma State law governing
quarantine which has been found to be unconstitutional according
to the state legal team. She said she was informed by Tim Graves
of the Oklahoma State Health Department that the new law
governing quarantine in the case of animal bites will go into
effect upon the signature of the Governor. The reason for the
change is that the State of Oklahoma legal team has found that it
can't take away someone's animal or make the owner quarantine the
animal in certain bite cases so the new law will therefore allow
home quarantine. In August 1996 the City of Duncan recognized
that the current State laws were unconstitutional after
conferring with the Oklahoma State legal team and Duncan passed
an amendment to its ordinance to allow home quarantine. She said
the Lawton ordinance needs to reflect this upcoming change in the
State law and allow home quarantine. If the State of Oklahoma
legal team has agreed that it cannot violate an individual's
rights by forcing an owner to give up or turn over his animals,
how can the city staff continue to do so.
Susan Ferguson said she would like them to remember service dogs
and how they worked to help recover the people for the bombing in
Oklahoma City. She said there are also therapy dogs to be
considered, one citizen, Mrs. Kiehn has a therapy dog and asked
if the Council is asking her to give up her one dog because she
has four dogs and Ferguson gave her a dog to train as a therapy
dog. Therapy dogs are visiting hospitals, nursing homes and day
care centers for older people and referenced medals and awards
that have been given for therapy dogs.
Shanklin said he wanted to hear from the staff and the man who is
out there facing this on a day to day basis.
Ihler said they have been down this road and have had this
experience in the past with the storm drainage ordinance. He
recommended the Mayor appoint a committee made up of staff
members Mike Shaw and Rose Wilson, a couple citizens who are
interested, a local veterinarian or someone from VAPS and perhaps
Councilman Beller who has a great interest in this issue. He said
when they did this with the storm water detention ordinance they
had asked staff to prepare an ordinance that addressed all of the
issues and that is an impossibility. He said they can't come back
with an ordinance that is going to address all issues that
everyone will be happy with unless they have all the parties
involved. He said from a staff member's and director's position
over this group, it is going to take a great inordinate amount of
time from staff to try to come back with an ordinance without the
input and help from the individuals they have heard from.
Shanklin said in defense of Ihler and staff he has gone through
this on two different occasions, it was and still is impossible
and they may need a completely different approach, but when they
walk away from here there are going to be as many mad as there
are glad regardless of what they do.
Purcell said Dr. Kiehn indicated that the ACO's should not go on
any private property and asked how Kiehn would handle a situation
where there is a dog running down the street terrorizing people,
they call the Animal Welfare Division for help and the dog winds
up on someone's porch, what is the ACO supposed to do in that
Kiehn said he didn't have trouble with them recovering the animal
but didn't think they should look over your back fence and go get
them. He said there is also another concern with food and water
because he doesn't leave food or water outside for his dog, the
dog can drink out of the swimming pool. He said the ACO's should
be required to get a warrant or some type of legal document to
get the animal and not just be able to pick it up and make the
owner go through the process of proving he is innocent.
Purcell asked if Kiehn is referencing the requirement for his
scenario or getting it from a back yard. Kiehn said from a back
Beller said when they get into discussions in changing the
ordinance the legalities should play a most important part
because there are, on record, cases that have been adjudicated.
They need to ask the City Attorneys to look into these
adjudicated cases. He said they also use the word remanded and
believes that means it goes back for further discussion but in
some instances it has been adjudicated that you would be
violating the civil liberties or the civil rights of these people
and before they get into the numbers portion they need some sound
legal advice of what legal grounds they are on when they limit
the number, if they are putting themselves into a grey area they
need to know it and when they discuss this in any committee they
need good sound legal advice when they go to numbers.
Mayor Marley asked if anyone from the animal shelter would like
to speak to the Council.
Shanklin said he would like to hear from Mr. Lopez because he can
tell the Council what he runs into that the great majority do not
Lopez said he has been an Animal Control Officer for almost 10
years for the City of Lawton and would answer any questions they
Shanklin asked what his biggest concern is from what he has heard
from the citizens and when he sees animals that haven't been
taken care of, when there are those people where there are 6 or 7
animals that are being taken care of, can he find a ground by
where they can smell. He said they can sniff gas smell everything
else and if there is a certain indicator of aroma coming from
someone's yard that could be used to shut him down. There has to
be some way to do this other than with 40 pages, they need to
simplify it where an ACO would know because they had a problem on
South 6th where you could smell it for a block and a half and it
took 2 months to get it shut down.
Lopez said there are problems with the ordinance. They don't go
out with selective ticketing and harassment, he is sent wherever
he is dispatched to. Then the dispatcher gets a call of dogs not
being fed or too many dogs at a location he doesn't ask who gave
it to the dispatcher or where it came from. If he gets to the
location and it has a wooden privacy fence, he calls back with
that information because they don't look over or through fences.
If it is a chain link fence, they will look, and if they are in
violation of the ordinance, they will talk to the residents about
cleaning it up because the Health Department requires it to be
raked and cleaned up daily and disposed of when the trash is
picked up. If they have too many animals and they look small, he
will ask them what the ages are to determine if they are under 6
months and if they are he informs them that when they become 6
months old, they will need to only have 3 animals. He said there
are a lot of problems especially with the running strays because
they will get calls of dogs chasing children and bitting their
pants and when he gets there, the dog may be sitting on a porch.
He said there is this citizen that is mad because her child
almost got bit but he can't do anything because the dog is
sitting on a porch. He said he needs something to work with that
is a happy medium between all of this. He said he concurs with
Ihler that they need a little bit of everyone on the committee,
put it together and work together. He said they want to work with
the citizens of Lawton, that is who they work for, they are not
just Animal Control and they do what they want, it is what they
tell them to do and that is what they enforce.
Maples asked if there are some houses he goes to that have more
than 3 animals and they are well kept.
Lopez said yes, when the ordinance was changed a few years ago
where they took the chaining law off he saw people that had spent
a lot of money to have their animals on runs with a chain and as
the animal grew they enlarged the collar and allowed the animal
to run. When the ordinance was changed with no more chaining he
had to enforce it and the citizens would show him the expense
they had gone to but he had to enforce the law. He said there are
some people who have one animal and can't take care of it and
others who have 4 or 5 and can. He said everything is done on a
one to one basis, he doesn't tell them how it will be, he looks
at the situation, talks with the people and tries to work with
Shanklin asked if he has to be a judge on the spot.
Lopez said he has to take them for their word, he has gone to a
house, especially where cats are located, and asked how many cats
they had, they have told him they had 2 and you can smell them
for half a mile and have gone to a house where they had to pull
32 animals. He doesn't know what to do, some people take care of
them and some don't.
Beller said he has impressed him with more good common sense as a
staff member than he has heard in a long while, he has talked
about working with the people and doing what he thinks is good
common judgment and commended Lopez.
Purcell said there was an accusation that they have selective
enforcement which seems to be a big thing going around. He said
he doesn't believe there is selective enforcement when Mr. Lopez
is told to go to a particular location because of a problem and
enforces that because they received a phone call but doesn't go
to the house on the other side of town because no one has called
and no one knows about it. He said he doesn't believe that is
selective enforcement in this area or any other area. He said
they can not enforce everything going on, it would be like asking
why the police don't arrest everyone who is going 5 miles an hour
over the speed limit because they don't see everyone going that
speed. He said this is a myth about selective enforcement, Mr.
Lopez just put a kibosh on that because that is very important.
Maples disagreed with Purcell and said they will take that to a
test tomorrow because they will see if they go out to a few of
those homes that have been made issue of here tonight. She said
she would provide some addresses and they can go look and can see
if they get the right enforcement.
Kiehn said there are people out there they know are in violation
but they aren't going to them and enforcing it and the VAPS
people are part of that.
Shanklin asked if that is the only one Kiehn is talking about
where they are selectively enforcing the ordinance.
Kiehn said not necessarily, they are not knocking on Mr.
Dutcher's door and he has 4 dogs.
Schumpert asked if Kiehn is telling them that he wants to
complain about Mr. Dutcher.
Kiehn said no he isn't complaining.
Schumpert said he doesn't know how they can make it any clearer
that the way they enforce the Codes of the City of Lawton, as
they do junk cars and many other ordinances, is for a citizen to
call the City. When a citizen calls they don't really consider
the complaint, they consider information and if it is an animal
an ACO goes out, if it is high weeds and grass a Building
Development inspector goes out and if they deem that it is in
violation of the ordinance they file on the individual or take
the appropriate action. He has had people call and tell him they
need to do something about a situation and he informs them that
if they will tell him the address they will not tell the people
who they are, and they do not, and they will go out and check it
but the citizen won't provide the address. He said he has to tell
them they can't check unless they provide an address to check
whether it is for weeds and grass, animals, etc. He said Council
member Maples is going to give them some addresses and they will
go out and check those addresses.
Kiehn said from the statement Schumpert has just made, unless
there is a complaint it should be a case by case deal and if this
person has 4 cats in their house and they aren't hurting anyone
there won't be a complaint, so the limiting is wrong because it
should be a case by case basis.
Koch said Mr. Shaw turned in a complaint of barking dogs near
Gibson's where a person had over the limit of dogs, and if you
get close to the house they will bark but if they were barking
more than that the Animal Control would have gotten a complaint.
The people have owned the house since 1987 and have lived in it
this time for over 3 years. Koch said he has been at that house
twice and the dogs bark when a stranger gets near but they stop
within a minute or two.
Shanklin said in defense of the staff, if Shaw is the one in
charge of it and sees someone in violation of their ordinance if
he doesn't check into it, who in the world is, there are two
sides of the coin.
A citizen, identifying himself as Bob, said he couldn't find out
what the rules and regulations were for dogs, especially during
the summer time when a dog is in a portable pen of a big yard. He
said he didn't know if shade is included because all he has been
told is that as long as the dog has shade from a dog house in the
pen it is legal and it can be 103 or 104 but there is nothing
said about shade. He said he had called on a dog three or four
times and didn't call last summer, the heat went up to 115 , the
dog was picked up on August 24, at about 4:00 p.m. and that is
the only thing he could see that killed that dog, which was only
about 2 years old, and had very little water or food. He asked if
they were making the ordinance where the dog would be provided
shade other than a dog house because shelter and shade are two
different things. This was a portable pen and it didn't have any
shade and would get real muddy which wasn't any good either. He
said there wasn't anything the Animal Control Officer could do
about it and he couldn't go over there because it was private
Mayor Marley said they were discussing shade earlier and shade
should be provided a further definition later in the ordinance.
Moray Lagreen said it is not the number of dogs, it is one
individual and it seems that most of problems are with
individuals with one dog and each case should be treated
individually by everybody.
Schumpert said there seems to be a consensus that because of the
number of problems it is being suggested that a task force or
committee be formed of the various entities to look into this,
discuss shade, animals in confined spaces and a lot of other
Maples said Lopez has helped them out several times. They had a
Rottweiler that got out no matter what they did and Lopez drove
by one day when they were out looking for it and they were able
to locate the dog. If you contact the Animal Shelter and let them
know your dog is missing, if you have registered it they will
call you when they find the dog, if they are driving around the
neighborhood and find the dog they know where to take it and they
have helped them out many times.
Mayor Marley asked the pleasure of the Council.
Beller said they need to take it back and get some input from the
citizens. He said one of the main things they need is the
legality issue of the numbers as to whether they can or cannot do
it and work together to come up with an ordinance to please both
Shanklin said he would like to see them cut the 40 pages down.
Cruz said in reference to the numbers and the constitutionality,
there is no decision as far as he knows in the United States that
says it is unconstitutional for a municipality to provide a
limitation of the number of dogs in your locality. He said the
cases he has read, to include those provided, the Supreme Court
basically stated that the trial court held that this was a
violation of that city code because there were three dogs on the
property. The court instructed them to go back, and determine the
municipality's concern as to whether the States interest in
protecting its citizens could be justified by saying 3 dogs is
the maximum, it does not say you cannot have 3 dogs or 100 dogs.
The city council has to look out for the health, safety and
welfare of their community and determine, based on the data
information received from the public and staff, whether they have
found from their experience that if they have 3 dogs or animals
in one place it has been a cause for a lot of droppings, it is
unhealthy, and so on and if that is sufficiently demonstrated
then the Supreme Court said that is a rational basis for enacting
that ordinance. That is the basic theory of the discussion of the
cases he has read to include those that were provided by the
citizen, Dzialo and those they have gone through in the CD ROM
and in their research for the past 6 months.
Mayor Marley said they are going to put the ordinance together to
hopefully match everything the citizens, the ACO's and Animal
Welfare people desire and will be effective for the City, and
regardless of what that particular legal aspect will be they will
get it worked out one way or the other.
Shanklin said he is still concerned over the legality as he
believed the rest of the Council is also. He said he was more
concerned with the health aspects, they should demand that
citizens clean their yard, if they have 2 or more animals, every
day and by regulating the barking along with the stray animals
they would eliminate 90 percent of the problem.
Purcell said everyone keeps talking about the Supreme Court and
they are not talking about the U.S. Supreme Court, they are
talking about a State Supreme Court and because that state under
that Supreme Court their law provides certain things but it is
not binding on any other state. Cruz said that is correct.
MOTION by Maples, that the Mayor appoint a task force consisting
of Dr. Kiehn, Mr. Koch and some staff to review this ordinance
and to bring it back to Council when they can come up with a
Cruz said that motion would be inappropriate and suggested the
Council members make that recommendation to the Mayor and bring
Mayor Marley said he would do that on behalf of the Council and
recommended to table the items.
Maples said they should table it until they come back with a
Shanklin said the only problem he sees is that it is 40 pages,
they don't know it themselves, the citizens only know certain
aspects that pertain to them and the people in the audience are
the ones taking care of their dogs. He said they have to figure
out a way to get to those who don't and that is the health,
barking and running wild.
Mayor Marley said as Mr. Koch said seizure on property, nuisance
and sanitation, are is the basic issues for all the discussion,
the small things they talked about earlier are really not a major
issue. He said he will appoint such a committee and will accept a
motion from the Council.
MOTION by Shanklin, SECOND by Beller, to table this item until a
later date when the committee can bring back an ordinance.
Mayor Marley said he will give the committee a time limit.
VOTE ON MOTION: AYE: Purcell, Shanklin, Beller, Warren, Maples,
Williams. NAY: None. MOTION CARRIED.
2. Consider adopting a resolution amending Appendix A,
Schedule of Fees and Charges, Lawton City Code, 1995, amending
fees relating to animals. EXHIBITS: RESOLUTION NO. 97- .
Schumpert recommended, based on tabling of the first item, that
item number 2 be extended until that time. Mayor Marley said they
would have been together. Cruz said they are both tabled.
There was no further business and the meeting adjourned at 8:00