Sheriff’s Office seems indifferent to antiquated leash laws in County

Published 11:16 am Friday, October 21, 2016

To the Editor:

Southampton County has a rich history of animal husbandry including dog ownership. What Southampton also has is an antiquated/non-existent leash law.

What does mean? It means if you have a neighbor that has three huge Great Danes that are aggressive you can only call animal control, who will come out, talk to the owners and go away. Happens again? Tough. Ride a bike and the dogs try to bite you? Tough. Have to beat them off with a pair of binoculars? Tough. As an animal control officer I didn’t see that. Call again and again. Tough, they didn’t bite anyone. Your children out in the yard with your wife and dogs and your 6-pound Yorkie-Poo gets mauled and bitten, with witnesses while your wife tries to protect your children? Tough. Your dog is punctured through both hind legs and can’t stand after a week, but that isn’t severe enough for the dogs to be considered vicious.

What can the Sheriff’s Office do? Nothing. Call back if anything else happens they say.

“Oh, OK, when my 17-month-old son gets bitten or killed by three 140-pound dogs I’ll call back. When my dog gets killed by three 140-pound dogs, I’ll call back.”

Can the owners be made to install a wireless fence? Not if they don’t want to. Can the Sheriff’s Office take the dogs? No. Can anything be done besides me waiting for my family or animals to be killed other than quit work and wait seven days a week and kill the dogs myself, ONLY if they are in the process of coming after my animals or family? Seriously? Maybe I won’t kill my son in the process? Seriously?

If this was a person, would the Sheriff’s Office tell me to call once my son has been shot?

What kind of backward place is this when the laws are such that a person’s family can be in danger for YEARS and the Sheriff’s Office can only say there is no leash law and call when something else happens like, “MY CHILDREN HAVE BEEN MAULED TO DEATH BY DOGS!”


Peter Gibbs