Our Craig Fox reports:
Councilwoman Roxanne M. Burns wants the city to move forward on banning dogs from public events following the Aug. 31 incident in which a 2-year-old boy was mauled by an American bull dog at the Watertown farmers market.
She intends to bring up the issue at tonight’s Watertown City Council meeting when she instructs city staff and the city attorney to start working on legislation that will prohibit dogs from public events like the farmers market, the July 4 celebration at Thompson Park and festivals.
“They’re just not the place for dogs,” she said, adding that those types of events attract thousands of people.
Ms. Burns said that she decided to go forward with her proposal after talking to constituents, the Jefferson County Dog Control office and representatives from the Greater Watertown/Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce about it.
She believes that the community generally agrees that dogs should not attend such events.
The chamber, which sponsors the farmers market from June to early October, has declined to comment about the situation, waiting to see whether the city decided to ban dogs.
The injured boy, Indigo Mullin, was mauled by a 2 1/2-year-old American bulldog after his mother had asked its owner for permission to pet the dog. He suffered severe cuts to his face and needed 105 internal and external stitches.
He was taken to Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, where he underwent plastic and reconstructive surgery before he was released and is now recuperating at home, but needs further treatment.
The boy’s mother, Jennifer Duger of Henderson, filed a dangerous dog complaint with the county’s dog control office. The case has been adjourned in city court until Oct. 26. A judge could decide the dog should be put to sleep.