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Animal control takes center stage

By Marlana Ward
Freelance Writer

An item on this month’s County Commissioners’ meeting agenda, was the continuing lack of an Animal Control presence in Johnson County. Al Gryder, representative of the Johnson County Humane Society, took to the podium to express his disappointment with the continued lack of a proper animal control in the county.

“I have appeared before this commission before holding a petition with over 900 names on it asking for a county animal control presence,” Gryder said.

Gryder shared with the group the story of a lady who was recently bitten by a dog in the Trade community and how it was handled improperly. He stated that the deputy who responded failed to call the city animal control, as is the legal protocol for such instances.

“The county has a contract with the city animal control for situations like these,” Gryder stated. “Instead of calling animal control, the deputy called a private, unlicensed rescue to respond to the situation. The dog should have been taken to a state controlled shelter for observation.”

Gryder explained that the victim had to undergo rabies treatments because she was never updated on the status of the dog that bit her. He said the dog was quarantined at the rescue and later determined to not have rabies and that the victim would not have had to go through the painful rabies treatments if she had been contacted.

“When I called the lady, she said I was the only person who had contacted her about the situation in over ten days,” Gryder explained. “County citizens deserve better than this.”

A suggestion was made that the county pay for deputies to be trained to handle these situations and on how to properly handle a dog bite case when no vaccination could be proven. Eddie Tester was in attendance and stated that it would mean more deputies would have to be hired and trained to handle animal cases if that is what the county decided to do. No vote was taken and Gryder was thanked for his time. The next meeting of the Johnson County Commissioners will be held on September 20, at 7 p.m. at the Johnson County Courthouse.