“Sometimes a leash doesn’t do much good …I see people being dragged by their dogs while they are on the leash. I worry about my grandchildren who like to play in my yard,” Louis joseph, councilman
AMITE — The Tangipahoa Parish Council agreed Monday to explore ways to amend ordinances regulating the ownership of “dangerous and vicious” dogs after hearing a complaint about some animals from a resident of the Hammond area.
Pat King told the council his neighbor owns three pit bulls, all on leashes in the neighbors yards, but they can come to within about 10 feet of his property line.
“I had to cut my grass with a pistol on my hip,” King said. “I speak for many when I say it’s time to put some teeth in the pit bull laws.”
King said that on several occasions he almost shot the dogs when they escaped their leashes and came into his yard.
Council President Lionel Wells, after hearing complaints about dangerous dogs from several council members, said he and council members would work with Charles “Chip” Fitz, director of the parish’s Animal Control Center, to examine ways to better protect its residents from vicious animals. Wells said the existing parish ordinances require only that dogs determined to be dangerous be kept within an enclosure or be leashed at all times.
Councilman Louis Joseph, who represents the Independence area, said he has long been concerned about vicious dogs in his neighborhood.
“Sometimes a leash doesn’t do much good …I see people being dragged by their dogs while they are on the leash. I worry about my grandchildren who like to play in my yard,” Joseph said.
An increasing number of dog bites have been reported in the parish this year, said Councilman Greg Varnado.
Council Attorney Cliff Speed advised the council that it cannot pass ordinances that are “breed specific,” but agreed that ordinances can be passed requiring such things as insurance for owners of vicious dogs, the implantation of microchips so that dog owners can be identified and a requirement for stronger enclosures.
Also Monday, Parish Assessor Joaquin “Junior” Matheu, said the value of assessed property in Tangipahoa Parish for 2013 was $706.5 million, a 2 percent increase over 2012. Matheu said a rise in construction accounted for the increased value of property in the parish. Matheu said that no property owners contested their assessment during the past year.
The council also unanimously approved a cooperative endeavor agreement with Civic Source, a firm that handles the settlement of adjudicated property. Councilman Greg Varnado said that Civic Source will place adjudicated property on the market at no cost to the council.
The firm will charge a fee for purchasers of the property. Councilman David Vial said the aim of the agreement is to see adjudicated property back in commerce.