Our View: More bite needed in dog ordinances


Dogs freely roaming, especially packs of vicious dogs, has been an issue at one point or another in almost every city or town as well as unincorporated areas of Walker County.

Parrish is the most recent municipality to address dog issues. During a January meeting, the town said it was time to update its current dog ordinance, which was passed in 2009. 

“We feel that it is an issue that has plagued our town for a long while. We want to make sure that our ordinance is appropriate to make efficient progress,” Parrish Mayor Bubba Cagle said during that meeting.

While Parrish hasn’t passed a new ordinance yet, it is expected to happen sooner rather than later. 

The stray dog issue isn’t an easy one for municipalities or county government to handle. Being too rigid could cause just as many issues as not having a leash law. The biggest concern is for laws to have bite for repeat offenders or in serious situations. Our area has had its share of injuries and even death as a result of packs of vicious dogs. In most those situations, it has been dogs that have been reported multiple times or owners have been asked multiple times to put their dogs up.

Jasper has a dog ordinance and an animal control officer. The Walker County Sheriff’s Office has a deputy who handles animal cruelty and injuries related to animals, but these agencies are already spread thin dealing with mostly issues caused by dumb humans, little less animals owned by dumb humans. Other municipalities are in even worse shape to deal with animal control issues 

With that being said, each municipality needs to have the most efficient animal control laws as possible, but the biggest issue and easiest fix is people need to be considerate of their neighbors. If your animal is a nuisance, do something about it. If owners will take care of their animals, that would solve much of the problem.

As far as strays go, there are several rescue groups in the area who could help with that. Municipalities need to build relationships with those groups to better help with the issue.

- Daily Mountain Eagle