Salineville approves animal ordinance

SALINEVILLE — Despite a number of village residents speaking before council about how the animal regulations could affect the chickens, ducks, horses and dogs in their own lives, village council passed the ordinance by a 4-1.

Prior to the vote, Councilman Jim Wilson questioned why none of them had come to any of the meetings or expressed their opinions in the three prior years council had been talking about regulating animals.

Megan McKee said her 12 chickens and 11 ducks are teaching her children how to take care of animals and provide for them so they will lay eggs. She was concerned about having to get rid of her birds, which are like pets and are in a yard near the cemetery where they don’t bother the neighbors.

Another resident, Mike Spencer said he has about 15 chickens near the ball field and has not had any complaints from the neighbors. He also went around part of the village and got 130 signatures on a petition from people not happy about the animal regulations.

Virginia Showalter said she has five horses, four dogs and 16 or 17 chickens out on Salineville Road West, noting no one even knows she has animals on her five acres. She keeps her chickens in a coup in the barn and her dogs inside the house.

“We haggled this ordinance for three years,” Wilson said. “It was in the paper everytime we would talk about this ordinance. The complaints should have come in as we were talking about this ordinance.”

“We have as many complaints against the animals as we have for the animals,” Councilwoman Sally Keating said, adding council needs to balance everyone else’s concerns with theirs.

Don Abbuhl, a High Street resident, said he did some research on the ordinance and learned the state is looking at house bill 124, introduced March 1 of this year, which would supersede everything council would pass involving small livestock. Abbuhl said the bill is currently in committee and deals more with individual situations, letting police to determine if the animal is creating a problem, such as noxious odors.

When it came time to consider voting, Keating said she thought they needed to pass it despite Wilson stating maybe they should think about it a little longer.

“You people have the wrong idea,” Keating said. “People don’t care about you having a few chickens. But when people start getting two or three horses in a little square or a cow or a pig this big, if you want to live on a farm move to the country.”

Keating said she really does not like to smell the odors that comes with animals living nearby. She also talked about a resident who could not let their baby out in the yard, because of the neighbor’s chickens.

“We really don’t care that much about your chickens as long as you take care of them and keep them at home,” Keating said.

Keating asked if any of them had taken a stray cat to Angels for Animals to get them taken care of, which she said she has done often at great expense to herself.

Wilson was the lone vote against bringing the ordinance forward for the third and final reading, prompting Keating to call him what amounted to chicken excrement.

In other matters:

–Tom Hayes, a resident said a police officer stopped at the house to alert him that his garage door was open. Hayes said he thought it was nice to see an officer patrolling the neighborhood instead of just sitting on state Route 39 picking up speeders.

— Council also passed the third reading of an ordinance regulating the use of recreational vehicles and campers.

— Trick or Treat will be held on Oct. 31. A parade will line up at village hall, starting at 5 p.m. and heading west to the Assembly of God. Trick or Treat will follow the parade until 7 p.m.

— The next meeting of council will be held at 6 p.m., Oct. 21.