Auburn Police Chief Ron Mills cited an Amish juvenile in October for failure to pick up droppings from the horse pulling his buggy on College Street.
Mills said he was directing traffic in front of the school when the buggy passed and the horse defecated on the street. The juvenile driving the buggy kept going and did not pick up the droppings, which is in violation to the city’s animal ordinance.
When Mills finally got the juvenile to pull over several streets later, he issued him a citation carrying a $50 fine, which was to be paid within 10 days. Mills said the 10 days came and went, which prompted him to go and talk to one of the elders of the group the boy was affiliated.
“I spoke to Amos Mast and asked him what their intentions were concerning the fine,” said Mills. “I told him if they wanted to contest the citation, they needed to come to a city council meeting, which they did.”
Chief Mills said Mast told the council he would talk to his fellow Amish and try to get them to clean up after their horses better.
The city of Auburn amended its animal ordinance earlier this year to include “all animals.” According to the ordinance no person shall allow an animal under his or her control to be upon public property, including streets within the city limits of Auburn, or upon the property of another, absent the consent of the owner or occupant of the property, without some device for the removal and/or containment of the animal’s excrement; nor shall any person fail to remove any excrement deposited by any animal under his or her control on public or private property. The penalty for such violation will be a $50 fine.
Mills says several months before the ordinance change, the issue was talked about after the city received numerous complaints from the citizens of Auburn about the droppings. It was suggested the Amish put collection bags on the back end of their horses, however, Mills said the Amish did not want to do that for fear it would spook the horses. Mills said the Amish said they would pick it up instead, which he said never happened.
Mills said after the council meeting where Mast spoke, the fine was still not paid. He said he went out to speak with him once again. “He asked me where the money would go and how much time it took the street department to clean up after the horses,” said Mills, adding that Mast said they still hadn’t decided yet to pay the fine.
“It’s a law,” said Mills. “For some reason the Amish community out here feels they only have to follow the laws they agree with. If they don’t like it, they don’t think it applies to them.”
Mills talked with County Attorney Joe Ross, who said the fine was a civil matter. Mills said he feels confident the city will pursue the fine in court