Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Ely bites down on dangerous dogs

Keith Vandervort
Posted 8/16/17

ELY – The Dog Days of Summer appear to have arrived in Ely.

Two dog-on-dog attacks in the city of Ely last week prompted Police Chief John Lahtonen to request an update to the city’s fee …

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Ely bites down on dangerous dogs

Posted

ELY – The Dog Days of Summer appear to have arrived in Ely.

Two dog-on-dog attacks in the city of Ely last week prompted Police Chief John Lahtonen to request an update to the city’s fee schedule to include an annual Dangerous Dog Fee whereby the owner must pay an additional $500 for an annual license.

“Within a matter of days we have had two very serious dog attacks. One dog was killed, and the other is in very bad shape,” Lahtonen told the Ely City Council Tuesday night. “Both of these dogs have previously been listed as potentially dangerous dogs.”

According to Minnesota Statutes, a “potentially dangerous dog” means:

‰when unprovoked, inflicts bites on a human or domestic animal on public or private property;

‰when unprovoked, chases or approaches a human, including a person on a bicycle, upon the streets, sidewalks or any public or private property other than the dog owner’s property, in an apparent attitude of attack; or

‰has a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack unprovoked, causing injury or otherwise threatening the safety of humans or domestic animals.

Lahtonen provided few details of the attacks, but did say one of the dogs attacked another “little dog on a leash” near the Zenith apartments. He noted that one of the attacking dogs was a pit bull breed.

Subsequent bites or attacks could result in the dog being listed as a “dangerous dog,” requiring proper enclosures and restraints, including a muzzle to prevent the dog from biting. Sterilization of the dog is also required by state law.

The registration and $500 annual fee is in addition to any regular dog licensing fees.

“We need to establish this fee so that if anyone wants to own a potentially dangerous or dangerous dog in this city, we have the fee schedule in place,” Lahtonen said.

“The City Attorney and Clerk-Treasurer are on board with the $500 fee,” he added. Other requirements of a dangerous dog registration include obtaining a $300,000 insurance policy, implanting a microchip identification into the dog, and installing a warning sign at the dwelling.

“In the 20 years I’ve been here, we’ve never listed a dangerous dog. Most of the time, the owner will just put it down,” Lahtonen said.

Council members unanimously approved the city fee schedule addition, according to the state statute.

Other business

In other business, the council:

• Approved the solicitation of proposals to operate the Ely Public Access Television Station;

• Agreed to provide Sheridan Street sidewalk project information at the council’s Aug. 29 study session;

• Approved the Ely Fire Department’s Safety Open House event for Saturday, Sept. 2, from 3-6 p.m.;

• Rejected the offer from Ryan and Emily Quick to take ownership of their blighted property at 726 E. Camp St.

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