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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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City Marinette Committee Declares Dog Dangerous

Issue Date: June 19, 2014

The City of Marinette Public Safety and Code Enforcement Committee has determined that a mixed-breed pit bull-terrier named Coco, residing at the home of Katherine O’Reilly at 309 Carney Boulevard, is a dangerous dog. The 5-0 vote was followed by another unanimous vote ordering O’Reilly to be in compliance with Marinette’s Dangerous Dog ordinance by Wednesday, June 18 at 5 P.M.

The Committee made the determination after a one-hour hearing in which evidence about the dog’s behavior was presented to members. City Attorney Jonathan Sbar presented 11 witnesses, several of whom had been bitten by the dog or witnessed the dog’s aggressive behavior. Marinette Police Sergeant Scott Riess Marinette Municipal Code/Animal Control Enforcement Officer Mary Cherry, Mary Kay Watson, Ronald Kohlman; Marriner Kohlman, Sr.; Marriner Kohlman, Jr.; Trayton McClain; Chad Watson; Bradley Stauber and Dylan Wood, all agreed that the dog was dangerous after their interactions or observation of Coco’s behavior. O’Reilly, along with Amanda Kerridge, testified that they believed Coco was not a dangerous dog.

Cherry sent a letter to O’Reilly on May 13 detailing the Dangerous Dog ordinance and notifying O’Reilly of her intention to declare Coco dangerous. Cherry had been aware of several incidents in which the dog had been aggressive toward people and other dogs. Cherry sent the letter in light of an April l8 incident in which the dog was loose and bit Trayton McClain, the nine year old nephew of O’Reilly’s neighbor, Mary Kay Watson. The incident had frightened McClain, who was afraid to go outside to play or to help the family because of his fear that Coco would be loose.

With the determination that the dog is dangerous, O’Reilly will be required either to euthanize the dog or to meet other requirements, including muzzling the dog when it is away from O’Reilly’s home, having a special collar for the animal, and purchasing liability insurance on the dog for $100,000.

In other business, the Committee voted to allow Marinette Firefighters Doug Van Winkle and Mark Diercks to participate in the Muscular Dystrophy Associations Fill the Boot campaign by standing at the intersections of Hall, Hattie, and State Streets on Aug. 13, 14, and 15.

The Committee reviewed activity reports from the Building Inspector, the Animal Control Officer, the Fire Department, and the Police Department. The group tabled action on amending city ordinances regulating the behavior of pets in city parks.

Chairperson Dennis Colburn called the 85 minute meeting to order at 4:45 P.M. The Board will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, July 9 in the Council Chamber at Marinette City Hall.


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