After many deferrals over the past months, on Monday council gave an ordinance number to addressing animals in hot cars, thanks to alderman Melissa Greene. Greene provided much of the legwork, and with the guidance of City Attorney Tim Weaver, Ord. #2278 was approved.
“This ordinance gives Eureka’s police and animal control officers some teeth,” Greene said. While Weaver said the ordinance is less aggressive than a state statute, it will result in an assessment of court costs and a fine of not less than $50 and not more than $500 for each violation.
Greene said that Fayetteville was helpful to her as they have a similar ordinance. Expressly opposed to the ordinance was the outvoted alderman Terry McClung, who said he has had several outside dogs in his past that had a doghouse and were chained, and “I don’t think they loved me any less for the conditions that they had.” In response to his opposition Greene stated, “Terry, with no disrespect, if you put an animal or child or person in a car that’s overheated it is going to hurt them and that is what this ordinance is.”
Mayor Butch Berry deferred discussion on an ordinance for aggregate in sidewalks due to the Historic District Commission needing more time to confer with the city attorney.