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Council considers changes after attacks on small dog

For Dunkirk city officials, it may be more than a "who let the dogs out" issue. The concern for some leaders is keeping certain breeds out of the city.

A Swan Street resident attended the Common Council meeting Tuesday and said his small dog was attacked earlier this month by what appeared to be a large-breed dog. He said it is the second time the dog attacked his pet while he was walking. He said he also changed routes for his walk in order to stay away from vicious dogs.

He said his dog required emergency veterinary care and is recovering. Several neighbors came to his aid. The owner of the attack dog was ticketed for having an unlicensed animal, but not for allowing the dog to run at large because the animal charged out of the house and at the small leashed dog.

City Councilman Michael Michalski said he would consider a local law prohibiting pit bulls and other breeds that may be considered dangerous. Second Ward Councilman Kevin Muldowney said he also would consider some kind of law regulating dangerous breeds.

Fourth Ward Councilwoman Stacy Szukala disagreed with her peers and placed the blame on dog owners. She said stiffer fines and more penalties were in order and not a ban on certain breeds.

Councilman-at-Large A.J. Dolce said the city had looked into the issue before, and state laws had to be considered before any local law could be brought out for a public hearing.

Another resident said dog owners may respond more if there were a dog park where dogs could run unleashed. Mayor Richard Frey said a plan for a dog park is in the works, and it may become a reality.

City leaders promised to research the issue for further discussion.

In other matters, city officials say union leaders may be stalling on negotiations in order to wait for the results of the November elections. The mayoral race in the city has incumbent Frey against Councilman Dolce. Two seats on the Council also will be elected. The Council will see at least one new face since 3rd Ward Councilwoman Rose Florama officially resigned for heath reasons.

City Attorney Michael Cerrie said he has one meeting scheduled with a union representative, but openly admitted the other union apparently is stalling as the election draws near.

City residents were asked to recycle used pumpkins after Halloween by bringing them to the city barns instead of putting them in the trash. The pumpkins will be composted instead of adding weight to the weekly trash pickups.