Several citizens in favor of a county wide leash law spoke to the Board of Commissioners during public comments at the September 25 meeting. Animal Control Director Smart Web had addressed the board at a meeting last month about the possibility of a leash law to decrease the stray and unwanted animal population and to help eliminate the grey areas surrounding roaming pets.
Sheryl Abadie, of Atwater Road, told the board that for the past eight and a half years there have been problems with her neighbor and the animals at her house. Abadie stated there are currently seven dogs next door which are very aggressive and have destroyed many things on her property. The neighbor has been told by animal control to put them in a pen, but there are still four running loose. She thanked Director Smart Web for his help, but noted that his hands are tied without a leash law.
“Many people are having problems with these animals running stray,” said Abadie. “They come in contact with many wild animals while they are out who they could contract rabies from and then spread to adults and children in the area.”
Julie and Randy Teal, also of Atwater Road, spoke about the same problem to the board. Julie Teal stated that the dogs are known to attack people while walking down the street and she fears for the safety of people in the neighborhood, especially the children who ride their bikes down the street. She continued that they have tried to talk with the neighbor about the problem, but she will not come out of the house. Teal noted it has gotten so bad that she and her husband cannot even go to the mailbox without fear of being attacked.
After hearing the comments, Commissioner Frank Spraggins agreed that they were a good example of why a county-wide leash law is needed. He noted however that animals are not really the problem; owners are the problem and they should be held responsible.
Commissioner Steve Hudson agreed and stated he had more calls in the last two weeks than he ever has in his 10-year period of serving as a commissioner and they all were about the possibility of a leash law. He continued that he believed all owners should be responsible for their animals whether they currently live in a leash law area or not, but that a person should not be afraid to go to their mailbox because of an aggressive dog.
Hudson asked if the board would allow him to draw up a draft of a county-wide leash law to present at the next BOC meeting, to which they all agreed.