By Matt Flener
CASS COUNTY, Missouri (KMBC) — The Cass County presiding commissioner said he has directed the county attorney to review potential changes to county ordinances in response to a property with multiple dogs on chains or tethers near a popular state trail.
The new development comes after KMBC 9 Investigates first reported about the property last month, after complaints from Cass County residents about dog bites, debris, and trash near the Rock Island Spur of the Katy Trail.
Cass County Presiding Commissioner Bob Huston said he has heard concerns about the site along with complaints about dog bites near the property.
“There’s obviously a problem that needs to be addressed,” Huston said.
Asked later for a potential resolution, Huston said, “I think our county’s common sense enough, there’s somewhere in the middle to take care of this that should be agreeable to both sides.”
The property along South Roush Road near the Intersection of East State Route P is owned by a 66-year-old man who has no home on site. However, he lives on the property with the dogs. He has told KMBC 9 Investigates on multiple occasions he does not want to surrender his animals. KMBC has seen several dogs on the property on top of kennels, tethered or chained to various debris and trash. It is unclear viewing from the road if the dogs have access to food or water.
Earlier this month, county workers cleared much of the debris and trash from the public right-of-way in the road. After first seeing the dogs and the property in August, KMBC 9 Investigates obtained records showing Cass County sheriff’s deputies have responded to 11 complaints of animal bites near the area since 2017. It is not clear from the reports if all those dogs involved in the animal-bite complaints belong to the property owner.
Michelle Brinkoetter said she is concerned about so many dogs remaining on chains.
“It’s no life for them, and it’s bad for them,” she said. “It’s dangerous. It’s bad. If they get off tether they, then, are aggressive.”
Brinkoetter and a group of concerned residents spoke last week before the Cass County Commission and again Monday before the Pleasant Hill city council. They also recently protested in Harrisonville to raise awareness about the situation.
They are advocating for a supervised tethering ordinance in Cass County that mirrors several cities and counties in Florida and Georgia. They have presented commissioners and elected leaders with sample language they would like to see in ordinances.
“Hopefully, we’ll make a difference,” Brinkoetter said.
KMBC 9 Investigates will continue to follow the situation, and report about any eventual solutions. If you have any tips about this situation, email email@example.com.
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