CO: Dog vigilante takes fight to town council

Discussion in 'General Mastiff Discussion' started by Vicki, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator

    Dog vigilante takes fight to town council
    Man who creatively used bacon goes political
    Published: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 8:42 PM CDT

    The man stood up in front of the Telluride Town Council in a suit jacket and addressed them in a way that lawyers address the Supreme Court.

    “Ladies and gentlemen of the town council, I’m Shawn Smith,†he said Tuesday. He was a man on a mission. “I have never had more to say and such a short time in which to say it.â€

    The council listened while Smith detailed his no. 1 issue: dogs, and what they leave behind in his yard, which a dog owner called “the most inviting yard in Telluride.†So as not to offend our delicate readers, let’s call the items in question “remnants.â€

    Despite having already addressed the problem last spring, the council agreed to revisit the problem this June.

    Smith got small-town famous last week when he took extreme measures to combat the remnants he kept finding in his yard. He cooked up some bacon and wrapped the remnants in it. By the next morning, the bacon-wrapped remnants were gone.

    Reaction to his action was mixed. Interviews on the street tended to recoil, calling Smith “sick†and “twisted.†But comments on this paper’s Web site, where people can be anonymous, called for Smith to be installed as mayor.

    But the bacon escapade wasn’t enough. Smith told the town council he wants the town’s officer responsible for dogs to come in earlier in the morning. That way, he could catch dogs who are let out by their owners to drop off remnants. He wants the fine for owners who don’t pick up their dog’s remnants to increase to $1,000.

    “Being in and full of [remnants] is not a good place to be,†Smith said. “Make sure those who do not care, doo.â€

    Mayor Stu Fraser last year called for “relatively drastic steps†in combating the problem. But Tuesday he seemed uncomfortable with the discussion, especially when Smith kept calling out, by name, the town’s police officer responsible for dogs.

    Others welcomed the break from planning and building code discussions. “This just went from the most boring meeting to the most interesting,†said council member Thom Carnevale.

    Fraser mentioned that fines for many dog-related offenses increases “substantially†last year. And town staff member Karen Guglielmone reminded Smith that the town created a dog complaint form, and put up signs on the River Trail encouraging responsible behavior.

    “Has it changed the town at all?†Smith asked.

    “It’s a problem and it’s always going to be a problem,†Gugliemone said.

    Saunders threw out an idea from this paper’s letter page, that the town pay for kids to pick up remnants and bring them in.

    “That’s not in place now,†Fraser reminded the crowd. “Please don’t bring it in.â€

    But council members Chris Myers and Bob Saunders — Saunders, who doesn’t even own a dog, collected 45 pounds of remnants on the River Trail last year — asked that the problem be given more scrutiny, and that it be discussed at a future meeting.

    In the search for amelioration, the town decided to put the problem on the agenda in the future.

    “Can it be in June?†Smith asked. “I’m in France and Chia until June.â€

    The item is now on the agenda for June 22.

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