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Jefferson County commissioner says leash law may be too tough

May 28, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

Jefferson County Commissioner Rusty Morgan said Thursday he is concerned that a section of a dog leash law the commissioners are considering may be too restrictive.

Under the proposed law, county officials could seize a dog if it goes off its property and is not on a leash.

Dogs not picked up by the owner within five days shall become the property of the county and destroyed by the animal control officer if no responsible new owner can be found, the proposal says.

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Morgan said he is concerned the proposed law may go too far, especially regarding trained dogs.

Morgan cited an example of dogs that are trained to walk at their owners' sides.

Commissioner Greg Corliss suggested that the proposed law could be written to say that dogs must be either controlled by a leash or voice commands.

Commissioner Jane Tabb said some dogs do not listen to commands.

The commissioners, in a work session later in the day, said that allowing dogs to be controlled by voice commands would not work, Corliss said.

The commissioners are continuing to study the proposed leash law and a law that would control barking dogs.

Under the proposed barking dog law, a dog owner could be fined up to $500 for allowing a dog to bark.

Despite complaints from some people about roaming and barking dogs in the county, some area residents said at a public hearing recently that the commissioners were going to extremes with the barking dog law.

The commissioners may vote on the proposed leash law next Thursday, Commission President Al Hooper said.

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