Anybody who spends much time listening to a police scanner knows Warren County has its share of dog issues.
Just this week, I've heard a call over the scanner for a woman who was attacked and bitten by a dog. The next day, there was a call to 911 from a person angry that a pack of three dogs had killed their family dog. The caller even gave the 911 dispatcher the address of one of the dogs responsible.
Perhaps the most humorous dog-related call I've heard came over the scanner Tuesday afternoon. A resident called 911 to complain that a neighbor who walks his dog every day allows the dog to stop and use the bathroom in his yard every single day.
The caller said he went outside to ask the dog-walker to find another yard to use, but his request was not received with warmth and an argument ensued. The caller wanted a deputy to talk to the dog-walker and provide persuasion with a law-enforcement touch.
These three calls are not isolated incidents. I called 911 dispatch on Thursday to ask how many calls are generally received concerning dogs. I was told there have been 37 calls of an Animal Control nature over the past month. That averages more than one per day.
It's easy to see Animal Control is a vital service and one we must maintain. That's why the suggestion made by Commissioner Michael Martin last week to close the county's Animal Control facility is laughable.
Our community is overrun by so many dog problems, having a functioning Animal Control department is essential. Closing our Animal Control would be a terrible mistake, a move that would only come back to bite us.
Despite the absurdity of closing Animal Control, the suggestion by Martin has created concern and steady feedback. One commissioner I talked with Wednesday said he received an email from a constituent who was pleading to keep Animal Control open.
Commissioner Blaine Wilcher received so many questions about closing Animal Control, he felt compelled to address the full Warren County Commission on Monday night.
“As vice chairman of the Health and Welfare Committee, I would like to tell the concerned citizens of Warren County that the committee does not have any plans to close the Animal Control and Adoption Center," Wilcher said.
That stance should never waver because Animal Control is not a fancy luxury. In a day when people let their pets roam freely, often not spayed or neutered, we have a dog problem in our community.
Closing Animal Control to save a few dollars would be a very short-sighted decision. Thankfully, our Warren County Commission sees the value of Animal Control and the opinions expressed by Martin are not shared by the majority of county officials.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.