The Calico Rock City Council decided to put some teeth into the city's dog ordinance at their Jan. 8 meeting.
The action is in response to the Dec. 20 dog attack on 81-year-old Sue Kizzia was the focus of the meeting that many of Kizzia's neighbors attended to see that a change was initiated.
"I've talked to (the dog's owner) Wesley (Parker) ... I've reported these specific dogs so many times," said Kizzia's neighbor, Kay Watts. "When he lets them out there's so many and they go wild. They're vicious and very territorial."
Calico Rock Mayor Ronnie Guthrie said the ordinance needed to be more strict on the owners of stray dogs, as well as involve county law enforcement.
"We're gonna have our city attorney and the sheriff go over this (the dog ordinance) and beef it up," Guthrie said.
Watts said there is one family with three children as well as 13 people who walk every morning who live within a block of the Parkers. She said all but one of those 13 were over 60.
Other Calico Rock residents concerned with the incident complained not just about the Parkers' dogs but also about the overall number of stray dogs that roam the town. "They still go around the school, and I see them out by my house all the time," said one concerned resident.
"Our ordinance was made to pick up dogs inside city limits, not on the owners' property," said Calico Rock Clerk/ Recorder/Treasurer Gary Teague. "We do what we can. We've averaged (catching) over 100 dogs a year since we passed the ordinance in 2002."
Izard County Sheriff Tate Lawrence, who has been involved in generating awareness of Kizzia's attack, also attended the meeting to hear concerns and discuss possible resolutions. "I'll do what I can, he said. "I'm definitely not anti-animal, but in the same breath, I'd say I am pro people."
Guthrie said the council would review and vote on the revised dog ordinance at their February meeting.