Council hears stories of hostile dogs roaming in city, looking at ordinances
MANTI—The Manti City Council listened to concerned citizens recount their experiences with hostile dogs in town during the recent council meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 7.
A host of local residents appeared at the Council’s most recent meeting to present the issue, including former Manti City Council member Loren Thompson, as well as his mother, Colette Thompson.
Primarily leading the cause was a longtime resident of Manti, Ernie Augustus, who says he saw the need for change after suffering a pit bull attack near the intersection of 300 S and 300 East earlier in the summer during an afternoon walk.
Augustus told the council that the attack unveiled a fear in him that continues to haunt him even now. After the attack occurred, Augustus called 911 to report the incident.
According to Augustus, law enforcement took over an hour to arrive, during which time he says he assisted another passerby who was attacked by the same dog.
“I’ve been scared quite a few times in my life,” Augustus said. “When that dog came at me, I felt primal fear where I just knew I was going to get hurt.” Luckily, Augustus was not physically injured, but attests that the mental injury is more than enough.
Augustus said that he was informed the dog would be “put down” after the incident. Later, he was surprised to find out that the dog had been returned to its owner.
“Citizens should be able to walk the public streets of the city without the fear of being attacked by dogs,” Augustus says.
Currently, the process for handling animal violence requires that an offending dog be quarantined for ten days after an incident. After the ten days, the dog is returned to the owner with a court date.
Manti City Mayor Korry Soper says that the city may look into changing city ordinance so that dogs will be quarantined until their court date. Soper also said they may look into raising the fine for dogs running at large, which currently stands at $35.
The council expressed thanks to the citizens for bringing the incidents to their attention.
“We are committed to change our ordinance to address the dog problem and make our community safer,” Councilmember Darren Dyreng says.