VERNON - The City of Vernon convened in a workshop Monday, June 2, to discuss a variety of items to be presented during upcoming regular sessions. Chief among the topics were those of the need for a city policy regarding dogs, as well as the need for a policy regarding peddlers licenses.
Local resident A.J. Coatney, owner of the dog who bit Public Works Director Ronald "Bulldog" Woods, prompting Woods to fire his personal weapon at the animal, was on hand to find an agreement with the city.
"What do I need to do?" asked Coatney. "I don't want him to bite anyone else anymore than you do."
The city presented Coatney with a proposed agreement stating the requirements for his dog to be returned. Chief among the provisions were that Coatney reimburse the city for any incurred cost from the incident, and that if the dog remains in Washington County, Coatney will secure the dog in a totally enclosed locked pen with either a top or sides six feet high. The proposal also states that at any time the dog is not confined, the it would have to be muzzled to prevent it from biting anyone.
"If the dog is seen in the city limits," we will have to take appropriate action," advised County Clerk Keith Adkison.
Coatney has not yet agreed to the proposal but did indicate he plans to take the dog out of the city.
The guidelines could possibly be used as a model for a future vicious dog ordinance and become applicable to any dog declared to be dangerous.
Meanwhile, council members agreed to remind all residents of current requirements to register their dogs by sending out notices to city residents.
"That way, everyone knows, whether they have a dog or not," said Councilwoman Gwen March. "And if they decide to get a dog, they will know what to do."