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      Finding kitty to address animal control in Quincy

      Quincy Animal Control Commission

      Concerned residents say animal control in the City of Quincy is a public safety issue and more needs to be done to address it.

      Quincy's Animal Control Commission met Wednesday night to address a number of issues, including vicious dogs, animal neglect and an overpopulation of cats.

      One mother expressed frustration about dogs deemed vicious on south 18th Street.

      Carla Shank told the commission, which includes Sgt. Kathy Schisler with the Quincy Police Department, that she's often concerned about her family's safety.

      Quincy citizens asked questions about the status of the yellow lab that was confiscated from a home on south 6th Street two months ago.

      Sgt. Schisler said the status of the case rests with the decision of the Adams County State's Attorney.

      She told the commission the police department handed over the case, because the department did not feel the dog should have been confiscated.

      Sgt. Schisler said the dog's owner was following proper protocol to care for the dog and that the only reason police confiscated the dog was so they wouldn't have to arrest an alderman who showed up saying that the dog needed to be taken away.

      "You can give someone a chance, but 2 1/2 months, this started in November," concerned resident Lynn Fischer said. "There were four or five calls made during that time. It's not just one citizen complaining, and it's not like we're ganging up, but when one person complains, it doesn't seem like anything happens. It takes a group of us concerned with what's going on."

      Alderman and Animal Control Commissioner Jim Musolino mentioned how residents need to stop feeding stray cats.

      "As a city, we're not picking up cats that are strays, so people are left to deal with them. In spring and summer," Animal Control Commissioner Sally Westerhoff said. "The phone rings off the hook at the Quincy Humane Society in the spring and summer. People want to know what they're supposed to do."

      Kurt Welker moved to Quincy four years ago after serving overseas in the military.

      He told the commission he's noticed a lot of dogs running around the city.

      Welker also would like to better educate the public about pit bulls and that their owners are the problem, not the breed.

      "I think if there's a way to create fines or stiffer penalties for people doing things they shouldn't be, I think that would really help the city," he said.

      Musolino told the commission it would cost the City of Quincy about $69,000 to hire a full-time animal control officer.

      He encouraged concerned residents to turn out to city council meetings to express their concerns.

      The Animal Control Commission will meet again April 23rd.