Council has decided to not include shock collars in the City’s codified ordinances relating to restraining dogs and have taken the measure for discussion off the agenda of the Council Safety Committee. A shock collar, also known as an e-collar electronic collar, or remote training collar, is a dog collar that delivers electrical stimulation of varying intensity and duration to the neck of a dog with a radio-controlled device. The collars are operational through the use of a tone or vibration with the shock, which some say are similar to the feeling of a shock a person experiences from static. Some collar models also include a tone or vibrational setting, as an alternative to or in conjunction with the shock.
City Council members explored the possibility of allowing the use of shock collars on dogs as a means of control when residents take them off of their property. This topic came up when a Kingston Way Drive resident addressed Council at the May 19 Council Safety Committee meeting.
The decision not to pursue the matter legislatively comes after more discussion at the Safety Committee’s June meeting. North Royalton Senior Animal Control Officer George Stewart said that a change to the City’s ordinances to allow for the shock collars would cause more problems. He pointed out that, “you can still have a retractable leash that gives the dog a little more leeway.” Ward 4 Council Representative Jeremy Dietrich stated that it should be in addition to, not instead of. “I’m not saying change the ordinance, but if they want to use it, go ahead. . . . you should still have your dog on a leash.” Mayor Larry Antoskiewicz pointed out that, “it’s electronic. That doesn’t mean it’s going to work right. People don’t always change their batteries.” Ward 5 Council Representative Dawn Carbone-McDonald agreed, saying, “things could technologically fail when kids get excited and run up to the dog. The dog should be physically restrained.”
The following, is the current city ordinance regarding the containment of dogs and will remain unchanged: “618.01 DOGS AND OTHER ANIMALS RUNNING AT LARGE.
(a) No person who is the owner, keeper or harborer of horses, mules, cattle, sheep, goats, swine, dogs, cats, geese or other fowl or animals shall permit any such fowl or animal to run at large upon any public way or upon unenclosed land.
(b) No owner, keeper or harborer of any dog shall permit it to go beyond the premises of the owner, keeper or harborer at any time unless the dog is properly on leash.
(c) No owner, keeper or harborer of any dog shall fail at any time to keep the dog physically confined or restrained upon the premises of the owner, keeper or harborer by voice and/or signal command, leash, tether, adequate fence, or secure enclosure to prevent escape. “Electronic” (invisible) fences are not acceptable as providing sufficient control to meet the requirements for confinement.
(d) Whoever violates any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree and shall be subject to the penalty provided in Section 698.02.
(Ord. 12-86. Passed 5-15-12.)”
By GLORIA PLEVA KACIK