WAHOO – The Wahoo City Council voided a previous declaration of a potentially dangerous dog, citing miscommunication as the reason.

During last Thursday’s meeting, the council discussed the previous declaration that a dog at the residence of Patricia Rose was potentially dangerous. The original declaration was made during the May 14 meeting based on an incident that took place on April 15 when the dog allegedly ran after a man on the walking trail, forcing him to climb on a car to avoid the animal.

Patricia Rose, the homeowner, and Amy Rose, the dog’s owner, were not able to attend the May 14 meeting because of miscommunication regarding the location of meeting. The Roses thought the meeting was being held at city hall and went there, but the meeting was being held via teleconference instead. Virtual meetings are allowed by the state until June 30 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The owner was cited in April for having a dog at large and an unlicensed dog, according to Police Chief Bruce Ferrell. The incident was the reason the council considered declaring the dog potentially dangerous.

Amy Rose said her dog, named Diesel, was registered and questioned whether or not her dog was “at large” because it was on her property. City Attorney Jovan Lausterer said the property technically ends at the walking trail.

The dog barks at strangers to alert his owner, Amy Rose said. Council Member Stuart Krejci said the location of the trail through the Rose property is a factor that the owners should be aware of, as the public uses the trail frequently.

However, Krejci also noted that the new information received about the incident makes him question the previous dangerous dog designation.

“I’m not completely convinced the dog needs a designation at this time,” he said.

Mayor Jerry Johnson agreed that the people on the trail might affect the attitude of the dog.

One of those walkers had positive comments to say about the dog. Denise Lawver, director of the Wahoo Public Library, said she walks the trail every morning and has never had a problem with this dog.

“I really don’t think we’re dealing with a potentially dangerous dog here,” she said.

The council approved a motion to rescind the potentially dangerous designation, with the suggestion by Council Member Mike Lawver that the owner control the animal to eliminate future problems.

The council also discussed dogs of a different nature during the meeting. Ferrell said he is in discussions with a group of private citizens that are looking to form a nonprofit group that will raise funds to purchase and train a drug detection dog for the Wahoo Police Department.

Ferrell said there is a need for a drug dog because there is only one other K-9 unit in the area, the Saunders County Sheriff’s Department. As a result, there can be up to a 30 minute wait for the unit to arrive on scene, or the unit is not available at all.

The dog can also be used to visit schools and attend public events for the WPD.

“We see it also as a community relations tool,” Ferrell said.

Ferrell said he will make a formal presentation to the council at a later date once the nonprofit group has been established.

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