Quincy residents still concerned about animal issues - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Quincy residents still concerned about animal issues

QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) - Animal control issues still remain a hot button issue in the city of Quincy, and Wednesday night residents wanted to know what's going to change.

Animal commissioners held a meeting to listen to people's biggest concerns.

It seemed like everyone at the animal commission meeting had a story to tell.

"We were driving and I witnessed a dog come down and attack, what at the time I thought was a kid, he was probably eighteen or nineteen," Kurt Walker said, talking about seeing an attack in the city.

"There were four or five calls made during that time, and it's not just one citizen," Lynn Fischer said, talking about reporting a case of neglect.

Many shared frustrations and asked questions of commission members about various animal control issues, including vicious dogs and animal neglect, both issues that have been very visible in Quincy in the last few months.

"It's great to see so much community input in what we're doing. I think we need to channel all of this energy into creating some positive change in our community," commission member Sally Westerhoff said.

So what kinds of changes do residents want? Kurt Walker, who spoke several times at the meeting, said  pet owners need to take responsibility for their dog's behavior.

"It's just really about how they're treated and how they're raised and you know, all dogs can be good dogs and it's tough because you see these issues happening and what's the underlying issue here and it's not the dogs themselves," he said.

But he also said the city should step in with tougher penalties for animal cases. Westerhoff said that's a viable option.

"If more ordinances or stricter ordinances are required to keep those problems from re-occurring then that's something we can look into as well," she said.

Westerhoff says the commission is still very new, since it's been meeting for less than a year. She says they have made some good progress thus far with drafting animal ordinances to take to the city council.

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