Maximum fine for dog-at-large rising to $750 in Shoshoni, up from $50; ordinance approved on first reading

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.”

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‘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.

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“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).”

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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.

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