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Archive for Friday, June 7, 1991

T BRINGING BARKS FOR TOUGHER LEASH LAW

June 7, 1991

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About three times a day in Lawrence, a dog bites someone. And cats nip an average of a person a day.

Yet, those statistics haven't prompted people to bark at Lawrence city commissioners and seek a stiffer city leash law.

The wounded seek solace from Sgt. Ed Brunt of the Lawrence police department, who supervises the department's two animal control officers. He said the department received 1,940 complaints last year, both from those bitten and those upset about dogs and cats running loose through their neighborhoods.

The bitings begin to increase in frequency in June and are especially prevalent between August and November, he said.

The calls and letters help Brunt determine where to emphasize patrol assignments, he said, but don't ease his dissatisfaction with the city's leash law.

The law requires pets to be leashed when downtown, on school grounds or in public parks, Brunt said.

"Otherwise, it should be under the control of its master," he said.

About 900 dog and 300 cat bites were reported in Lawrence last year. The pace has increased this year. Through April, 316 dog and 84 cat bites have been reported.

Most of the incidents involve pets that had been let loose by their owners, Brunt said.

"I think that's a direct result of not having a (more strict) leash law," he said.

Brunt is quick to add that he speaks his own opinion rather than department policy.

Lt. Mike Reeves said the department had not sought a stiffer leash law from the Lawrence City Commission.

Apparently, few others have either. Mayor Bob Walters and Commissioners Bob Schumm and John Nalbandian said no one had asked about the leash law. Commissioners Shirley Martin-Smith said she's received just two calls in two years.

Commissioner Bob Schulte was unavailable for comment.

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