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Dogs off leash lead conversation in Perryville

PERRYVILLE — Perryville City Council members discussed an ongoing situation involving members of the city’s four-legged population running amok during Thursday’s city council meeting.

Council member Paul Webb brought up the topic, because he said someone complained about a dog running loose.

“We have a lot of people who let dogs run loose and a lot of people who are deathly afraid of dogs,” Webb said.

Police Chief Parker Hatter said the ordinance in the city and county stipulates that animal control is to be called in situations of dogs being off-leash, calling it “common practice.” He said a lot of people wait to call for 20 or 30 minutes later.

“A lot of times, when we get the call, the dog is back on (the owner’s) property … There’s little we can do after the fact. It could be a neighbor dispute — not saying anyone is lying,” Hatter said. “If we don’t see it happen, there’s not a lot we can do … If the dog is on (the owner’s) property, it’s good to go. There could be underground fencing. Or if the person is out, and the dog answers to commands.”

There have been complaints of dogs going to the bathroom in others’ yards, he said, and there’s little officials can do about it if it’s not witnessed by himself or animal control.

“We don’t do DNA testing on dog feces,” Hatter said.

Council member Steve Bailey questioned what Hatter was supposed to do if he caught a loose dog. Hatter said he would just hold it until animal control arrived.

“Do you have the means of holding the dog? What if it’s a vicious dog? … Tell them to call animal control — that’s who takes care of the animals,” Bailey said. “If I need Parker at my subdivision or my family’s subdivision, taking care of an urgent matter, I do not want him dealing with a dog. Call animal control.”

City Attorney Lynne Dean said it is possible to call Boyle County 911 dispatch to reach animal control, too.

In other business:

• Ron Farris, chaplain of Sons of AmVets Post No. 123, asked permission of the council for the organization to receive donations in Perryville.

The council approved the organization to set up from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 13 at the intersection of U.S. 150 and Highway 68.

• Mike Wilder, Boyle County Emergency Management director, shared the countywide hazard mitigation plan, which the council adopted. 

• Webb brought up the topic of getting a new computer for the police chief because his is outdated and unable to take updates. Council members encouraged Hatter to use funds the police department was given last year as a donation — $500 — and if it cost more, to return to council next month.