ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA MARTENS
The Marion Police Department was dispatched to 121 S. Freeborn in Marion the morning of May 14 when two pit bulls owned by Melanie Druse attacked a cat owned by the Robb Hett family.
The two pit bulls, a pure bred and one pit-bull mix, “had gotten out and attacked Rob Hett’s cat on the Hett’s front steps,” according to Michel Soyez, chief of police reading from a report by investigating officer Phil Hartsfield.
According to the report, the two dogs were put to sleep by Druse, and the cat was put to sleep by the staff at Animal Health Center of Marion County in Marion.
Soyez said he recently received at least one complaint about the two dogs running at large, but they were legally registered under the grandfather clause of Marion City Council Ordinance 1231.
“Since these dogs were already in town, and they fell under a grandfather clause in the ordinance, all complaints we received we forwarded to the city attorney, Dan Baldwin,” Soyez said.
Passed in 2003, the dog ordinance includes registration and vaccination, prohibiting certain dog breeds, defining potentially dangerous and vicious dogs, and providing for impoundment of dogs running at large.
Section 3 of the ordinance prohibits ownership of Staffordshire bull terriers, American pit-bull terriers and Rottweilers or any dogs having the appearance and characteristics of those breeds.
Section 5 defines a potentially dangerous or vicious dog as “Any dog which, when unprovoked, has killed, seriously bitten or otherwise caused injury by attacking a domestic animal off the property of the owner or keeper of the dog.”
Under the grandfather clause, about four animals in Marion are still around, and any incidents involving those animals are forwarded to Baldwin. If a new dog owner in town registers, any violations are the responsibility of the police department, Soyez said.