Lima City Council to revisit vicious-dog laws

By Lance Mihm -

LIMA — Legislation concerning vicious dogs will once again rear its head with Lima city councilors after an incident that happened Oct. 20.

Lima City Council’s Safety-Service Committee Chairman Todd Gordon asked that the issue of vicious dog regulations be discussed at a committee meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Nov. 16. The calling for the discussion was preceded by several councilors expressing concern and offering prayers for Lima Police Department Patrolman Mark Link.

Link was walking to his car the morning of Oct. 20 in the 900 block of North Elizabeth Street when he was attacked by two pit bulls. Link suffered bites to his head as he tried to fight off the dogs for a couple of minutes. The dogs then started charging at others in the neighborhood.

Several councilors expressed concern, including Councilman Sam McLean pointing out the site was “near two schools” and Councilman Jesse Lowe II saying “dogs are not labeled as vicious until after the fact.”

Gordon said he fears that the council’s hands may be tied legislatively because of state regulations against breed-specific legislation, but that the matter needs to be discussed.

“We need to consider what options we have,” Gordon said. “We will get with the law director and see what we can do. We have to get input from all sides and see what we can do to make rules more stringent.”

One of the pit bulls that attacked Link had reportedly cornered an elderly neighbor the day before in her yard. Police officers arrived and shot the dogs to prevent further attacks.

Link was taken to St. Rita’s Medical Center, where he was treated, then released.

The dogs were owned by Patience Jackson, of 999 N. Elizabeth St. She was cited for the dogs not having licenses, running at large, and another city ordinance.

The dogs were not immediately killed by the police gunfire. They were taken back to the Allen County dog warden’s office where they were later killed. The warden is required to inspect and test dogs for rabies that have been reported for attacking or biting another person.

Lima City Council President John Nixon said the committee needed to review information for “what the council can do constitutionally and legally.”

By Lance Mihm

Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or at Twitter@LanceMihm

Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or at Twitter@LanceMihm

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