Dangerous dog law proposed for Lawrence County

Dangerous dog law proposed for Lawrence County

by: Bobby Shuttleworth
WAFF 48 News Reporter

Beth Spillers loves her dogs and as a responsible pet owner, she keeps them quarentined on her own property.

But she has a problem with some legislation currently being drafted for Lawrence County.

She says, "Allowing animal control officers to seize your dog, impound it on nothing but probable cause ."

She's also worried about unqualified folks making rash decisions on confiscating animals.

"How does an untrained, non-law enforcement know what constitutes probable cause?"

Carolyn Atkinson is the animal control officer for Lawrence County.

She has a background with the police department, A.B.I., and F.B.I.

She says everyone has rights.

"You should have the right at least to some degree live peacefully in that environment that you have chosen."

She says too many citizens in Lawrence County can not do that because of threats from loose dogs.

"When we're receiving 25 to 35 calls a day and out of that 75% of those calls are concerning dangerous dogs."

Most pet owners will tell you that they are concerned about the rights of animals. Most parents will tell you they are concerned about the rights of their children. So the question becomes where do you draw the line?"

Atkinson says animal control officers are reasonable people and well qualified and don't make rash decisions.

Spillers adds, "The best way to deal with a problem is to prevent it from happening."

And that's what the new law will try to do.

The Lawrence County Commission Meeting will be Monday at 9 am.  Those people who want to  voice their oppinion need to call ahead of time and get on the list to speak.