Dog issues plague city, burden police

Outlook photo by Chris McConnell. Django, a chocolate Lab, was being walked under his owner’s control last week when he was attacked by a boxer that escaped from a fenced yard. There was a second boxer and a mixed breed in the yard that tried, but failed, to get out and join the melee.

Unfortunately, animal control is low on the list of priorities for Laurel Police. The department often just doesn’t have the manpower to round up strays unless they are causing problems, or to enforce the city’s two-dog limit, according to Chief Rick Musson. But, even if the force was better equipped, that alone wouldn’t stem the rising number of incidents. Many residents aren’t responsible owners and don’t follow the law.

“Since our part-time animal control officer retired, it all falls on our officers,” the Chief said. “On average we answer 65 dog calls every month.” 

On Monday July 17, a pit bull attacked a person on the 500 block of Date Ave. The owner received three citations. On Tuesday, July 18, a boxer escaped its south side yard and attacked a dog being walked on a leash; a pit bull mixed-breed dog treed a pet cat in the trailer park; and there were several other calls to police dispatch concerning dogs.

Of course, dogs aren’t the only problem animals in the city. But, because of the lack of facilities, officers and funding, Laurel’s city code doesn’t address cats at all, except to limit each household to two felines. They are otherwise at liberty to be free and unlicensed, whether they are companion animals or feral. 

The city does have a holding pen at the city shop where officers do take loose or nuisance dogs when they can. They also make every effort to find the owner, easy if the animal has city tags. Without identification, police rely on social media websites like Facebook to reunite or share information on found dogs. Dog owners rely on the same sites to post information on lost dogs.

 

Calls to dispatch

As of Monday morning, July 24, there were 66 calls to police dispatch concerning dogs, according to Jodi Kinn, the city’s new relief dispatcher. She found that there had been 41 lost or stray dog reports; 11 complaints, some of which involved owner neglect;  three dog bites; two barking dogs; four cruelty cases, this month they all came from Walmart as the result of dogs in hot vehicles; and five dog-at-large calls.

Next week: City and state codes pertaining to pets

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Wednesday, June 26, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check www.laurelexchangeclub.org for more info. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/laurelexchangeclub . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: clubinfo@laurelexchangeclub.org The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
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10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, July 3, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check www.laurelexchangeclub.org for more info. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/laurelexchangeclub . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: clubinfo@laurelexchangeclub.org The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Monday, July 8, 2019
• Christmas to Remember meeting, second Monday, 1 p.m., at Reese & Ray’s IGA, call 248-8557 for information

The Laurel Outlook

 

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