Residents concerned about dog problem

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 14, 2005

A dog problem in the Town of Petrey has residents concerned over public safety and the humane treatment of animals.

Laura Elliot, Petrey town council member, approached the Crenshaw County Commission on Monday with what she said is a growing problem not only in Petrey but also throughout the county.

According to Elliot a non-resident has approximately 36 dogs located on property inside the town. The dogs are tied to bushes, caged in pens and some run free across the land and in a decrepit trailer, also situated on the property, she said.

She said Petrey Mayor Curtis Petrey approached the property owner about the town's concerns and the number of dogs has since been reduced. That number had been close to 100, said Elliot. The town council also recently passed an ordinance limiting the number of household pets to four.

"We're just afraid this situation is going to get out of hand," said Elliot, relating an incident recently where several Petrey residents felt threatened by a German Shepherd that somehow escaped from the property.

Sheriff Charles West said if a dog is roaming free and attacking residents then a warrant could be signed to arrest the owner. He said he had visited the property and that the animals didn't look underfed or malnourished.

Elliot said the owner visits the property

once a week and feeds the animals.

West said the health department would be contacted to see if the dogs posed a health risk to the community.

The commission also reviewed and approved documents submitted by Lee Helms Associates, a consulting company that will provide help in formulating the county's Homeland Security program. Helms will assist in securing the county's grants from the State Homeland Security Department and will also conduct a tabletop exercise for Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) inside the county at a yet to be specified date.

The county will pay Helms $3,250 to conduct the tabletop exercise and $3,375 for help in managing grants received through Homeland Security.

Leah Simms, with the county's EMA, also made the commissioners aware that there will be NIMS (National Incident Management System) Awareness training on May 6 in Birmingham offered by Texas A&M University. The commission can also complete this training via the Internet, but it is a requirement in order to receive funding for Homeland Security.

In other business:

n Benjie Sanders presented the final figures for the auction of four 2005 Mack Granite trucks. The county purchased the trucks at $84,890 apiece, but the re-sell price for each truck was $100,000, netting the county a surplus of $60,438. Unlike in the past, the county utilized an Internet site this year to auction the trucks. The county received a $12,136 surplus from sell of the trucks last year via sealed bid.

n Probate Judge Jim Perdue told the commission that it would be extremely difficult to move two bills - one for a $5 tag issuance fee and the other to prorate the county's budget - through the state legislation this session. There is a chance, said Perdue that the legislations will hold a special session in the summer months and then the two bills could be considered.

n The commission also issued a resolution recognizing Elias D. Bryan, a longtime resident of the Bullock Community, for his service on the Choctawhatchee, Pea and Yellow Rivers Watershed Management Authority for 14 years.