By Justin Cox
Killeen Daily Herald
A week from now, the Killeen City Council will receive its two newest members.
On Tuesday, the council canvassed the votes from the May 9 election, re-electing Councilmen Kenny Wells for District 1 and Juan Rivera in District 2, and electing new council members JoAnn Purser in District 3 and Ernest Wilkerson in District 4.
The members will be sworn in at 6 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall during the council's regular meeting.
After the meeting, the council had other business, specifically nailing down some of the final additions to the new ordinance governing dangerous animals within the city.
The council is expected to approve the ordinance next week, which all but outlaws the practice of tethering animals, particularly dogs, to stationary objects.
Owners won't be able to tie their dog to a pole and leave it unattended for a prolonged length of time, Municipal Prosecutor Holli Clements told the council Tuesday.
The addition to the city's law would move Killeen in line with Fort Hood, which also has a similar rule in place.
Councilman Larry Cole said a lot of research shows that it tends to breed aggression in animals.
It's no secret that the ordinance is intended to limit ties on dogs, particularly pit bulls, though the inclusion of such language in a law is prohibited. But the city is doing its best to get around that while still keeping the people safe.
George Fox, president of Assist Animal Refuge in Killeen, gave a short presentation to the council, part of his work as a member of the animal advisory committee.
"We've got people all over town who won't tie their dog during the daytime, but as soon as they know the animal control has gone home for the night, they tie the dogs to a tree," Fox said duringa previous meeting.
Fox said Tuesday that supporting the city shelter is a needed step for the community at large, but some other practices are only making the problem worse.
"These people selling out of the backs of trucks are contributing to the problem," Fox said. "If it's what we need to do in Killeen, then let's do it. We've got some dogs in Killeen that flat need to go. As far as I'm concerned, that's fine. That's in the better interest of the entire city ? Most of these bites are happening because they are running around."
Fox said that the last major step the city needs to take in order to have a proper animal control ordinance resides in establishing fencing guidelines for owners of animals which pose significant threats in the city.
Clements said that the planning and zoning commission would first rule on before the animal advisory committee has a crack at it.
Contact Justin Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568.