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Gryder offers more evidence the county needs animal control

Dear Editor,

If there is any doubt there is a need for animal control in Johnson County, I would like to advise the residents of the country of the following four cases that have been responded to by the sheriff’s office in the month of June alone. Keep in mind these incidents, which, according to the incident reports, took hours of time away from other calls, could of and should have been handled by a trained animal control officer.
Case number one, June 11, responding to a call for a welfare check regarding dogs on Old Highway 67, the deputy found one dog tied and two loose. All were skinny and had no food or water. A neighbor informed the deputy the owner of the resident had it rented.  As of June 13, no one had been seen at the residence and the Town of Mountain City Animal Control officer was called to pick up the animals. Four dogs, two cats and one pig were picked up, and with the exception of the pig, transported to the city animal control shelter. While collecting the animals inside the residence, suspected drug paraphernalia was found in plain sight. The two residents of the property were charged with cruelty to animals and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Case Number two, June 13, responding to a call of a dog bite on Bart Stanley Road, the deputy found the victim had been bitten on the wrist while playing with the dog after being advised the dog might bite. The owner stated the dog was not current on rabies vaccination. The owner was directed to keep the dog under observation for 10 days and watch for any changes in health or behavior.
Case Number three, June 13, responding to a call of a missing or possible stolen dog on Copley Branch Road, the deputy was told by the owner her eight year old schnauzer/terrier mix had either wandered off or was stolen. She asked for assistance locating the dog or being informed if found.
Case Number four, June 16, responding to a call about a stray dog on T. Greer Road, the deputy was informed by the caller that a medium sized brown dog, with no identification, had been in his yard and on his porch since the day before. He also stated he wanted the dog removed from his property. A local rescue was called and was to pick the dog up.
If these four recent cases, added to the already reported cases involving bites that required two persons to endure the cost and discomfort of the post exposure rabies vaccinations and another awaiting to see if an un-vaccinated dog shows signs of rabies do no prompt the citizens of Johnson County to demand an animal control officer program to be put in place, I don’t know what will.
Please, don’t wait until someone dies or is seriously injured by an animal to speak up.

Al Gryder,
President Johnson County
Humane Society, Inc.