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Warning Issued to Dog Owners

Dog attacks discussed at Fiscal Court meeting

By Eugenia Jones

With two local dog attacks occurring in less than a month, McCreary County Deputy Judge Nathan Nevels issued a warning to McCreary Countians during the March Fiscal Court meeting. Nevels stated owners of dogs, particularly dogs capable of doing harm, must keep their animals securely chained or enclosed. Despite being a dog lover himself, Nevels said recent dog attacks are unacceptable, and owners are responsible for their dogs and any harm they cause.
Kentucky State Law Revised Statute 258.235 clearly states any owner whose dog is found to have caused damage to a person, livestock or other property is responsible for that damage. Furthermore, any person who has been attacked by a dog, or anyone acting on behalf of that person, may make a complaint before the district court, charging the owner or keeper of the dog with harboring a vicious dog. If the court finds the owner or keeper of the dog guilty, that person is subject to penalties including fines and/or jail time. Additionally, the owner of any dog, cat, or ferret biting a human is liable to pay all damages for personal injuries resulting from the bite of the animal. The court can order the owner or keeper of the dog to keep the dog securely confined or may order the dog to be destroyed. Any dog determined to be vicious by a court and allowed to return to an owner shall be confined in a locked enclosure at least seven feet high or a locked kennel run with a secured top. The dog may leave the enclosure only to visit the veterinarian or to be turned in to an animal shelter. The dog shall be muzzled if leaving the enclosure for either of these purposes.
This year’s first attack occurred when a school employee was attacked by three dogs as she attempted to deliver a coat to a child in need. The employee required fifteen stitches and was put on the ground twice by the dogs. One of the dogs was a nursing mother which can be a particularly precarious time as male dogs may be territorial and females with pups may be aggressively protective.
The second attack occurred last week at a residence on Sandhill when an elderly man was attacked. As a result the man was transported to Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital by ambulance.

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