Loango residents request county’s help with vicious dogs

Published 1:00 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2024

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A resident of the Loango community addressed members of the Covington County Commission last week requesting help in addressing ongoing issues involving a pack of dogs that are damaging property and, in some instances, attacking and killing other pets.

Robin Thompson told the commission that a pack of about eight dogs is the root of the problem and that she takes a pistol with her as a precaution when she takes her own pet outside, adding that her dog was attacked last May and her cat was killed that same week.

“We’re hoping for some sort of help,” Thompson said. “I don’t feel comfortable going to the person’s house whose dogs are killing other animals. I know for certain seven to eight dogs and a multitude of cats have been killed (by the pack) within a quarter mile of my house. We’re struggling with this. My daughter can hear them mauling other animals from her bedroom. I’m nervous about when they start attacking people,” Thompson said.

The attacks have been ongoing for over a year and includes property damage to residents’ porches, according to Thompson who said video footage of the pack is available.

The county has no leash law in place, but steps could be taken to provide officials a means to combat the problem; however, that will take time, according to County Attorney Morgan Arrington.

“There is no authority this body has today to help with this situation. However, there is a law called the Alabama Limited Self Government Act that was passed several years ago. It gives counties the ability to move forward with ordinances in the arena of animal nuisances. There are a lot of procedural steps. Step one is for the issue to be put on a ballot and voted on by those in the incorporated area giving this body the authority. If that passes, the body will then be able to adopt an ordinance,” Arrington said.

Sheriff Blake Turman said his office does respond to calls involving animals, but that his department has little authority in those cases.

“Our hands are tied,” Turman said. “When we get these calls, and we go out there, the dogs are typically back on private property. We’ve set traps and have done some things to try to catch them so that we can at least put them in the pound and notify the owner. We’ve been trying and we want a solution as much as anyone.”

Other items discussed at the county commission meeting included the following.

  • Revenue Commission George Patterson reported that approximately property taxes on about 500 parcels have not been paid.

“We’re going to make every effort to contact these people,” Patterson said.

He added that the annual tax sale traditionally held on the steps of the courthouse to a “GovEase” online auction. Bidders will be pre-certified by GovEase prior to the auction. On May 21, bidders will go to the site where properties will be listed. In the case of a tie in the bidding, a random draw is performed between the tied bidders.

More information about GovEase is available on the revenue commission’s web page at

  • The commission approved a settlement involving a statewide opioid litigation.

“This is just one of a number of (companies involved). Several have already paid out and others are paying over 10 or 15 years,” said Commission Chairman Greg White.

  • Approving a Memorandum of Understanding with the South Central Alabama Mental Health Board for crisis responses involving those who are experiencing a mental health issue. The SCAMHB has received grant funding to establish mental health response teams.

“Mental health is an issue within our county and I deal a lot with that in my court,” said Probate Judge Stacy Brooks. “This is a MOU with the sheriff’s department so that if they are on a call with an individual who displays symptoms of mental illness they can reach out to a crisis team and they can go on scene to address the issues. The goal is to limit the number of people we have to take to the emergency room or to the county jail. The crisis teams will include people who are trained in mental health and can help set up the proper services.”

Turman said he supports the agreement from a law enforcement perspective. “It offers a greater chance to keep people out of jail and giving them the help they need,” he said.

Through the agreement, patrol vehicles will be provided a laptop that dials directly to the crisis team.

  • The commission approved changing the classification of a public information officer from part-time to fulltime.
  • The commission approved architectural plans for an addition to the county jail and to let bids. The county will utilize ARCA funds for the project.

The next meeting of the commission is scheduled for Tuesday, April 9, 9 a.m., at the County Administration Building. The public is invited to attend.