OXFORD – Residents from unincorporated areas of Lafayette County expressed their frustration Thursday night that the county has no laws dealing with dogs.
Board of Supervisors President Lloyd Oliphant hosted the gathering, which sprang from a request for definitive answers for how homeowners should deal with problem canines.
Randy Crumbley, president of Royal Oaks Homeowners Association, had called county offices for such answers and found them lacking. A sheriff’s deputy would respond in the case of a dangerous animal, he was told, but when dogs are mere nuisances, the only options are to deal directly with the owner or file suit for actual damages.
“It shouldn’t … go through civil courts,” Crumbley told Oliphant and fellow supervisors Mike Pickens and Johnny Morgan. “We have a lack of policies in this county to deal with this problem. Just give me what I should tell the residents of my subdivision what to do when this problem occurs.”
Ed and Carolyn Kachelein of County Road 382 told of repeated property destruction by their neighbor’s dog, catching the animal and taking it to the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society, only to find the neighbor immediately retrieved it and let it loose again.
“We turned it in, and by the time we got home, it was back in our yard,” Ed Kachelein said.
Jack Garner said his Tara neighborhood has one resident whose dogs cause problems for many others.
“A lot of people in our neighborhood like to go walking, and one neighbor has four dogs,” he said. “When people walk by, the dogs come charging.”
Others objected to having hunting dogs run across their lands or told of neighbors who routinely neglect their animals.
Oliphant added that some vicious dogs in the Harmontown area had even kept children from getting off a school bus recently.
“It’s the elephant in the room that nobody’s wanted to talk about for a long, long time,” he said, “but with the growth and the problems we’re having, we’ve got to address it.”
Contact Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal