The Shoshoni Town Council is considering an ordinance that would increase the maximum fine for dog-at-large to $750 – up from $50.
Police chief Chris Konija said the $50 fee doesn’t seem to have an impact on local dog owners whose animals escape “daily and sometimes multiple times a day.”
“It’s getting ridiculous,” he said during a council meeting Aug. 9. “You give citations, and you give citations, and you give citations, (but) right now our ordinance limits it at $50. … That’s the most it can ever get. On the 30th offense, it’s still $50.”
‘Cheating the town’
Councilmember Mike Dimick pointed out that it’s often Konija – who also serves as town clerk – who has to deal with the at-large animals “instead of doing priority A-B-C” for Shoshoni.
The work mostly involves “chasing (the dogs) down,” Konija said, explaining that “sometimes some dogs are skittish, and they don’t want to come,” so “it can be time-consuming getting (them) wrangled up.”
It also takes time to drive a stray dog to the animal shelter in Riverton, if that becomes necessary, councilmembers noted.
Dimick called it a “surgeon sweeping the floor” situation.
“It’s cheating the town out of your talent,” he told Konija. “If you have to cut bait on the stuff you’re supposed to do here to run Lassie to town … let’s compensate the town for your time.”
Konija agreed that “it is a problem, and it does suck resources.”
“It’s very frustrating,” he said. “Having some teeth in the ordinance (would help).”
The council approved the new ordinance on first reading Aug. 23.
The ordinance states that violation of Shoshoni’s dog-at-large rule is punishable by $25 on the first offense, $50 on the second offense, and $100-$750 after that.
For more information call the Town of Shoshoni at 876-2515.