Hustonville hears complaints about unleashed dogs

October 08, 2003|EMILY BURTON

HUSTONVILLE - When Barbara Wilcher looks out over her back yard, she sees signs of uninvited visitors, and she is tired of stepping in it.

Wilcher and her neighbor, Agnes Smith, have seen neighborhood dogs running through their yards for too long, said Wilcher Tuesday night at the City Council meeting. Wilcher told council members that the mess left behind by the guests was the final straw.

"I'm not here to complain about anybody, but I am very concerned, and people need to be aware of what is going on," said Wilcher. "... My neighbor had apples sitting on her back porch and a dog walked right up and wet all over them."

Wilcher and several other residents present asked council members to look at the city dog ordinance and remind people to control their animals. Mayor Larry "Pup" Doss said that, while the city ordnance only specifies that all dogs be under control between sunset and sunrise, all dogs need to be under owner control at all times within city limits.


He and the council agreed to have Carol Hill, attorney for the city, look into the current state laws and see what could be done for city ordinances.

"You can create an ordinance that is more restrictive than state law, but it can't be less restrictive," said Hill. Hill said she would have research state dog laws before she could advise the council on the legality of another dog ordinance.

"We have dealt with criminal complaints on dogs at the office before," said Hill, "and what I can tell you is you have the right to shoot a dog if it's running your livestock."

Wilcher said that, while the dogs around her property were not scaring livestock, they were injuring children. According to Wilcher, her great-grandson's face was scratched by a Jack Russell terrier when the dog was trying to play with the child.

Greg and Cherie Nimmo said they have also heard of children being bit or scratched by roaming dogs. Cherie Nimmo said a girl who attends her church was bitten by a neighborhood dog, that was later destroyed. Greg Nimmo said that leash laws, which Kentucky has, should be obeyed by pet owners for the safety of people and pets.

"I take my dog to different states, and there are leash laws everywhere you go. That's only for the safety of the community."

The Nimmos also said they worried about loose dogs contracting rabies. Several weeks ago, Greg Nimmo said he had to destroy a skunk, walking circles in his back yard, after he suspected it of being rabid. He said he also destroyed a cat that could have been infected after it had come in contact with a skunk.

Cherie Nimmo said she was worried about loose dogs following people around Main Street.

"There are ladies that walk, and you'll see three or four dogs following them," said Nimmo.

Hustonville police chief Fred McCoy said he had not heard of any dog problems before the council meeting Tuesday evening.

"I would tell them to call the dog warden," said McCoy.

Until the issue is resolved, possibly next month at the council meeting, Wilcher said she and her neighbors on Danville Street would continue to have to deal with loose dogs.

"It's not that I don't like dogs, but I'll take care of mine and you take care of yours."

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