QUINCY -- Owners of a dog in the city of Quincy that has been declared vicious will be required to have the animal spayed or neutered, as well as have it microchipped as part of an update to the city code.
Approved Monday night by a unanimous vote of the Quincy City Council, the ordinance codifies many of the Police Department's procedures in dealing with vicious dogs.
Police Chief Rob Copley said a dog that bites a human or kills another domestic animal must be impounded for 10 days, which is already required if the animal isn't current on its rabies vaccination.
"The reason for putting the 10 days on all bites regardless of rabies vaccination is to have the dog on hand while we make a decision on what we're going to declare it, so if it is declared vicious, we have it, and it can be altered and microchipped before its release," Copley said.
The updates require dogs declared dangerous or vicious to have a photo on file and that owners of a dog declared dangerous or vicious to notify the animal control officer in 10 days. The owner of a dog declared vicious must provide proof of a minimum liability insurance policy of at least $100,000.
The ordinance is not geared toward any breed, and Alderman Mike Rein, R-5, said the ordinance is fair.
"We're not here to pick on anyone," Rein said. "We're here to protect them."
Copley said there had been some confusion in the city's ordinances over the last year, so it was time they were updated to clarify them. He estimated the city declares about six dogs vicious annually.
The ordinance for animals running at large was amended to allow citations to be issued to residents who inadvertently allow their dogs to roam freely.
Copley said a warning typically is issued on the first occurrence of an animal running at large, and the animal control officer will work with the resident to address how the dog got loose.
"What we need is the ability to write the ticket to the owner who refuses to fix the problem that is allowing the animal to run at large," he said.
It also requires that a dog be spayed and neutered and microchipped within 30 days after a second offense.
The City Council also approved an ordinance that establishes a license for massage therapists.
Copley said the city eliminated its ordinance on massage therapists about 20 years ago, and it was handled by the state.
"The inspectors who (inspect massage parlors are) unable to handle the things as quickly as other people would like them to," he said. "We get a lot of complaints from legitimate massage therapists; there are some businesses in town where I would say that some of their masseuses are probably not legitimate massage therapists."
The city's major license requirement is that massage therapists must have a valid state license.
"We can take care of our local problems locally instead of depending on a state agency to do that," Copley said.
In other business, aldermen also approved a city ordinance that coincides with state law that does not allow those under 18 to use alternative nicotine products, such as e-cigarettes and other vaping products.
The City Council also agreed to sell a lot at 1025 N. Sixth for $10 to the Tri State Veteran Community Village. The lot was obtained through the city's fix-or-flatten program.