GALLIPOLIS — A Cheshire village council woman and her husband pleaded not guilty to minor misdemeanor charges Tuesday for reportedly failing to contain their pets on their property after a meeting last July where a compromise was reached by council members regarding ordinances addressing the restraint of reported wandering pets after complaints from village residents.
David and Connie Palmer, of Cheshire, appeared for an arraignment before Gallipolis Municipal Judge Eric Mulford. Minor misdemeanors are considered on par with speeding tickets. Connie and David have received three citations each.
According to Gallia Dog Warden Laurie Cardillo, she claimed to have received complaints from village residents regarding the wandering of animals about Cheshire, getting into garbage and others reportedly acting aggressively.
According to Mandee Roush, council president, Gallia Dog Warden Laurie Cardillo and Gallia Sheriff Joe Browning appeared at the discussion in July. Browning was reportedly present at the meeting to discuss contractual security arrangements with the village. The dog warden was present specifically on the animal issue.
“Over the course of the last several months, residents had come to council members, not directly at meetings but out in the community, with some concerns,” Roush previously said. “The majority of the concerns were related to animal control and property maintenance.”
According to Roush, letters were distributed in the community to address the concern with lists of ordinances regarding animal laws. Residents were concerned that some pet owners in the community had animals wandering the neighborhoods that had reportedly acted aggressively to individuals near them. Two individuals were reportedly addressed at the meeting, one of whom was a council member, in regard to their pets reportedly wandering the community.
One ordinance within Cheshire states an individual cannot possess more than three dogs in village limits. The individuals addressed in question, according to Roush, had more than three animals. There was some controversy as to whether the individuals should make more stringent efforts to pen their animals, give up some of the animals and keep them from tearing into trash around the neighborhood. Dogs wandering the neighborhood were reportedly to be around the number of five or more.
Roush said after some discussion, a compromise was reached with the addressed dog owners at the council. Because council discussed potentially changing the ordinance and the number of animals allowed to be kept within village limits, supposedly, within 10 days of the meeting, the owners were to pen or restrain their dogs to avoid further complaints and would be allowed to keep the animals. According to Roush, if the animals are not restrained, a fine may be instituted that could continue to accrue costs until the animals are managed.
Roush said Tuesday the council was going to approach the issue unbiased, work with law enforcement and make certain everything would be handled within county agencies with the appropriate representatives.
“Open session agreements must be upheld,” said Roush.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.