Grand Forks dog calls on the rise; leash citations, dog bites ahead of 2012

Story by Kevin Bonham

Pet owners who unleash their hounds around Grand Forks may find themselves on tighter leashes — and carrying lighter wallets.

Grand Forks Police Department has issued seven leash law citations since July 1. That compares with just one during the same period in 2012, according to Lt. Michael Ferguson.

First-time offenders are fined $31.

Community service officers increased patrols last week in response to a recent rise in the number of dog bite incidents in the city. A total of 16 dog bites have been reported this year, compared with 29 in all of 2012.

The heightened patrol effort in Grand Forks began, coincidentally, the same week that a Fargo man was attacked and bitten by a pack of eight or nine large dogs near Warsaw, N.D., about 35 miles north of Grand Forks.

Besides issuing citations, Grand Forks officers are encouraging handlers of unleashed pets to use the dog park or to take them outside the city limits to exercise, according to Community Service Officer Jean Youshefski.

“It was a good experience,” she said. “We were able to chat with people more. A lot of people with dogs on leashes really appreciated it.”

The increased enforcement effort likely will continue throughout the summer, according to Ferguson.

To continue reading about the police department’s education efforts, click here.

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