Council members get earful on vicious animal ordinance - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Council members get earful on vicious animal ordinance

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -- Tonight, angry residents fired back at Sioux City leaders over the vicious animal ordinance. Council members also got an earful from a former city employee, who says they've had options in front of them but chose to do nothing.

In 2006, former assistant city attorney, Roseanne Lienhard was assigned to come up with an amendment to the city's vicious animal ordinance, which would give the council more discretion. After nearly two years of research she came up with alternatives to euthanasia but, she says those options were never considered.

"It's my point today to say, there has been much in the news about this, and that on January 28, 2008, as the author of this ordinance, this law, this vicious dog law that I wrote, there was an alternative and this council struck it down," Lienhard said.

Tonight, people in the crowd asked the council to come up with alternatives before several dogs are put down, including council member Aaron Rochester's dog, who bit a neighbor. To make a change, a council member or city staff member has to request it, but silence spoke louder than words tonight. When asked by a concerned resident to put the idea on next week's agenda, not one member stepped forward.

Mayor Mike Hobart says he won't discuss the issue until after the November election.

"I want to find out where people stand before I go into this thing, any further because I think the election would have a way of vetting that issue," Hobart said.

"For any of us to make an immediate change in this in order to affect the outcome of what's going on right now is not a reasonable request in my opinion," Pro-tem mayor Jim Rixner said.

Council Member Dave Ferris added to the consensus that the issue would be revisited at a much later date.

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