The streets and parks of Orrick will soon be occupied by school children as the last days of school fast approach, which means a problem with loose dogs needs to be solved.
Resident Kathy Cook addressed the Orrick Board of Alderman Thursday night to complain about a pack of dogs a neighbor owns.
Cook said the dogs tear into resident’s trash in addition to chasing children and biting them.
Cook said the dog owner lets about seven or eight of his dogs run wild. Cook was upset that she and family members spent hours catching the dogs only to have police let the dogs go.
Police Chief Troy Sims said the city only has one kennel and that only one dog can be housed in a kennel unless two dogs live together.
City Attorney Kevin Baldwin told Cook and other residents the city could be in big trouble and face heavy fines for housing more than one dog.
“If he does that there will be hell to pay,” Baldwin said. “Think I’m wrong? Ask other little towns that have done that.”
Sims said 17 citations have been issued to the dog owner. Cook said the dog owner doesn’t seem to care about citations. She said the dog owner told her in a sarcastic way that there was nothing she could do about it.
Residents asked Sims why he couldn’t pick up the dogs and take them to Richmond. Sims and Baldwin both said the costs are too high. Sims said it costs $10 a day per dog to house them. He said it costs $75 to euthanize an animal.
“Sometimes it comes down to simple economics,” Baldwin said.
Some residents and alderman asked about the possibility of taking the dogs to Richmond, and then suing the owner for expenses. Baldwin said the city would be best served to handle the issue through the court process rather than trying to collect money. Baldwin said the courts have jail time to leverage against the dog owner for payment.
“Getting a judgment and getting it collected are two different things,” Baldwin said.
Alderman Todd Wyse said the issue is tough to solve and called on all residents to brainstorm ideas for a solution. Mayor Marilyn Butler said the city would try to house the most dangerous dogs and let smaller dogs go.