The Harlan City Council discussed an appeal to a vicious dog determination during a public hearing held Tuesday. The dog’s owner, Cindy Scheffler of Harlan, was in attendance to make the appeal for her dog, Bailey, who she claimed, was not vicious. City Attorney Todd Argotsinger said the matter has been ongoing since late 2013 when the Harlan PD and City animal control officers provided documents on a dog running at large was vicious. A notice was sent out at that time to Scheffler designating the dog as vicious. Scheffler appealed that determination to City Administrator Terry Cox on January 29th. A hearing was held on February 13th and Argotsinger said the determination was upheld.
The attorney said Scheffler had the right to appeal again. “Once again in the February 19th letter, Cindy was offered the right to appeal and she did so on March 4th, 2014. From there on March 25th, another notice was sent to Cindy notifying her a further hearing would be held, this time in front of the entire council and scheduled it for today, Tuesday, April 15th, 2014.”
During the meeting, Scheffler gave her response and defended her pet. She said “I’m just here to say my dog is not vicious. She has never bit anybody. They say she snapped at them. The first I ever heard she snapped at Plumb was up in your (Cox) office. Nobody else has ever said she snapped at him since then. Is that down in writing? I’ve never seen it. I don’t know if I will get through here without crying. You can not do this to my dog. My dog is not vicious. She has never bit anybody.”
Documents provided said the dog had previously nipped at city employee Plumb. Two other family friends of the Scheffler’s also defended Bailey saying they have never had any issues with the animal. Kevin “Hoss” Krohn of the Harlan Parks Department said they have dealt with the animal on numerous occasions. Krohn also said the Scheffler’s have been cited nine times since 2007 for having the dog run at large in the city. Councilman Dave Miller said it all comes down to safety of the residents.
The Harlan City Council closed the hearing and motioned in favor of the vicious dog determination. City Administrator Terry Cox said Mayor Gene Gettys and City Attorney Todd Argotsinger will work with the Scheffler family on the next steps. In the city code, the family would need to provide a certificate of insurance with a minimum liability amount of $100,000 and must be confined within an occupied home or residence or a locked pen or kennel except when leashed and muzzled in order to keep the dog.