Further Protections May Be Added To Vicious Animal Ordinance

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WASHINGTON COUNTY (KFSM) – The Washington County Quorum Court moved forward with an amendment to their vicious dog ordinance, which would include protections to livestock and chickens.

Sponsor Bill Ussery said the amendment was needed in order to protect livestock and chickens from attacks by vicious dogs.

"The problem is when the people's dogs get out, and they attack the neighbor's chickens and livestock. That happens frequently," Ussery said.

Sheriff Tim Helder said the attacks are so common, they rank as the highest non-emergency calls the sheriff’s office receives.

Helder said a defined law on how to handle the attacks would allow his deputies to perform their duties more efficiently.

"There is a happy medium, and hopefully we are going to be the people in the middle of doing the balancing out using discretion and commonsense to enforce the ordinance," Helder said.

Pending approval at a meeting on Thursday (May 12) night, the ordinance would go into effect immediately. Helder says the new rules should encourage the public to train their animals to stay on their property.

"What this really boils down to is responsibility of the owners of these animals. Who it's really going to affect is the people who are irresponsible," Helder said.

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