McCOOK, Nebraska -- With the arrival of spring weather, more people and pets outside and children playing in parks, the McCook Police Department is alerting people to new changes in local animal control laws.
With the new laws, it remains unlawful for persons in control of animals to allow the animals to run at large at any time on any occasion in the City of McCook, including in any and all parks. "At large" is defined as "any dog, cat, and or hybrid animal found off the owner's property and not under the control of the owner or responsible person, either by leash, cord, chain, wire, rope, cage or other suitable means of physical restraint." Voice command alone does not qualify as a physical restraint or as having control of the animal.
Any animal that inflicts an unprovoked injury to a person, an animal, or chases or approaches a person in a menacing fashion is declared a "potentially dangerous animal." Once an animal is declared as "potentially dangerous or dangerous," it is unlawful to sell or give the animal away and many expensive restrictions are required in the housing and control of the animal.
Penalties for allowing an animal previously declared as a potentially dangerous animal to run at large are a minimum fine of $250 and/or up to three months in jail.
Any animal that inflicts an unprovoked injury to a person requiring medical treatment, kills an animal or has been previously declared as Potentially Dangerous and injures a person or animal, or menaces a person or animal, is declared a "dangerous animal."
Many expensive restrictions are required in the housing and control of dangerous animals. Penalties for allowing animals declared as dangerous animals to run at large are a minimum fine of $500 and/or up to three months in jail.
Animals owners are responsible to clean up after their pets when walking or exercising the animals on public property. It is unlawful for any person to allow their animal to defecate on any public property, including parks, streets, sidewalks, walking trails or lots without cleaning the feces from the area.
Under the new animal control laws, it is unlawful for any person to feed or maintain any feral animals in the city. Violators are subject to prosecution and penalties that include fines.
The McCook Police Department requests the help of all residents in keeping children, families, and pets save while we enjoy the parks and great outdoors this spring and summer.