Local city council considers vicious dog, feral cat ordinances - WNEM TV 5

Local city council considers vicious dog, feral cat ordinances

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BURTON, MI (WNEM) -

Wild cats multiplying at ridiculous rates and vicious dogs not being controlled by their owners.

Both of those issues were on the minds of Burton City Council members on Monday night.

You'd have to look closely to see the scars on Alyssa Neilson's face.  Time has helped them heal.  But 9 years ago, a dog bite did quite a bit of damage.

"I was attacked by a chocolate lab, and I had 10 surgeries. And it had bit half of my nose off," Neilson said.

Now 17, the Burton teenager isn't hesitant to share her thoughts on what she thinks should be done to owners of vicious dogs.

"I think that you should be held accountable for your dog's actions because they look up to you as good and bad," Neilson said.

The Burton Legislative Committee listened to Neilson, and many others onMonday night as it considered a vicious dog ordinance.  Currently there's nothing on the books that addresses the issue.

"I think we're really going to have to put some teeth into this thing," said Burton Councilman Dennis O'Keefe.

The city is considering an ordinance similar to the one recently passed in Flint.  It would punish dog owners with jail time if their dog attacks someone.

"This is something that we're going to have to spend some time on talking about. It's hard to put an ordinance in place if you can't implement it," said council member Ellen Ellenburg.

City leaders also discussed a separate ordinance to deal with the city's wild cat population.

Council members said they're working with animal control agencies to find economical ways to neuter cats and release them.

No decisions were made Monday night, but the issues will be discussed again at next month's legislative committee meeting.

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