County could impose leash law

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, June 14, 2011

An animal leash law could be in the future for county residents.

On Monday, commissioners authorized county attorney Julie Moody to begin researching if, and how, the county could require residents to properly maintain, house and restrain their dogs.

Their decision came after an address by Mignon Page, a county resident, who informed commissioners of how a pack containing three large pit bulls, a German Shepherd and a mix breed dog, was terrorizing her Page Road neighborhood.

She said the dogs had killed four cats, two puppies and an assortment of other animals.

“Plus, they chase the children that ride a four-wheeler,” she said. “What if (the dogs) were to get one of those children? What it they were to attack an elderly woman like me when she goes out to check the mail?

“Something needs to be done,” she said.

She said when she reported the animals to the sheriff’s department deputies told her nothing could be done because the county did not have a leash law in place.

“I’m an animal lover,” she said. “I hate the idea of animals being mistreated, but I hate the idea more of someone getting hurt because of them.”

Commissioner Carl Turman said he understood Page’s frustration.

“My dog is in a fence,” he said. “I don’t let him run free. I’m not for having dogs run across my property either.”

Both Turman and Commissioner Harold Elmore cited a recent attack in Andalusia where a 4-year-old child was attacked by a dog.

“I think we need to see what we can do before something like that happens,” Turman said.

Currently, Andalusia, Opp, Florala and Lockhart have leash law ordinances in place.

Turman asked Moody to have the information ready by the next commission meeting, which is set for June 27 at 9:30 a.m.

In other business, the commission:

• heard a presentation from the county’s amateur ham radio operators and designated the week of June 25th as Amateur Radio Week.

• heard from Opp resident David Mock, who spoke against the closure of Drip Rock Road and swimming hole.

• agreed to seek bids for a used roller. The county has rented a roller, which is used to put down rock, for many months. Since there is approximately two years of FEMA repair work to do, commissioners agreed it would be more cost productive to purchase a used roller instead of paying $2,000 per month to rent one.

• gave preliminary approval for a 99-lot subdivision on the Patsaliga River called Alabama Land subdivision.

• declared Aug. 5-7 as a sales tax holiday in Covington County.