By Paige Nash
The Bienville Parish Police Jury (BPPJ) has approved a recommendation to enter into a contract with Claiborne Animal Clinic. This contract would allow the parish to house animals seized by law enforcement for the allotted time provided by the state before being euthanized.
“We had an issue unfortunately with the untimely passing of a young man in the Town of Ringgold recently due to dogs,” said BPPJ Secretary Rodney Warren. “It was in the town therefore the jury has no jurisdiction, but as most things do, the blame and/or solution falls on the jury.”
The Claiborne Animal Clinic will charge the jury $400 per month to house animals seized by law enforcement within the parish, not animals seized within the 10 incorporated municipalities of the parish. The contract also includes a fee of $17.50 for euthanization after the animals have been held for a set amount of time required by law.
“It will not absolve the towns of their duty to have similar facilities,” said Warren. “We would just be handling the parish. They could possibly piggyback on our contract. If you want to allow that, then that’s fine.”
According to Warren, the majority of complaints regarding dogs at large or vicious animals come from within the municipalities, but the jury’s approval of this contract with Claiborne Animal Clinic will at least get the jury in compliance with Louisiana Revised Statute 3:2774. This statute states that any citizen may, or the sheriff, constable, or other police officers of any parish, ward, or municipality shall seize any dog found unaccompanied by its owner or keeper and running at large on any road, street, or other public place, or trespassing on any premises other than the premises of the owner.
Police Juror for District 1 Bill Sims said, “I think the towns needs to take responsibility also, not just the jury. If the town has a problem with dogs and they want to make a contract with Claiborne Animal Clinic, they can do so. It’s pretty reasonable what they are charging.”
Claiborne Animal Clinic is also in contract offering the same provisions with the Town of Homer.
“I know the jury has been getting a lot of pressure to get their own animal control, but I just don’t feel like the citizens out there would pass a tax to have that happen,” said Warren. “There is no public entity in this parish that has the funds available to spend $1 million dollars on a dog pound and sustain that operation.”
RS 3:2774 also states that any citizen or officer may kill any dangerous or vicious dog and no city or officer shall be liable for damages or to prosecution by reason of killing any dangerous or vicious dog.
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