Update: A proposed leash law that would affectall dogs in Garland County is headed to the quorum court. It's actually anenhancement to the current law regarding animal control. Arguments on bothsides were heard at the Monday night sub-committee meeting. The enhancement tosection four which talks about the confinement and control of dogs passed in a3-2 vote. Justice of the Peace, Mickey Gates told Channel Seven it heads to thequorum court Monday, November 26.
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GARLAND COUNTY (KATV) - A string of violent attacks by vicious dogs in Garland County has the Quorum Court taking the first steps toward new legislation against the dogs and their owners.
The Quorum Court took input from residents Monday night before starting work on a new committee specializing in vicious dogs.
The animal committee is made up of law enforcement, animal control, and local officials tasked with drafting a new ordinance to address what's considered a growing problem of roaming vicious dogs.
Greg McCabe's 13-year-old daughter was one of two Garland County juveniles attacked last month Garland County in the same weekend.
"These are who pit bulls are biting and it's not the burglar in the house," said McCabe, pointing to his daughter, Teddy Jo.
He is one of the people demanding tougher laws against pit bulls and other breeds considered vicious dogs in a county without even a leash law.
A 2010 ordinance defines a vicious dog as any dog with a propensity to attack unprovoked or to endanger the safety of human beings or domestic animals.
"One bite [and it should be] euthanized," he said.
Many who went to Monday night's public hearing on vicious dogs went with a specific breed in mind: pit bulls.
"Never forget," said Karen White, "[pit bulls] were created to fight."
Most in attendance were pit bull advocates who sought to crack down on negligent pit bull owners.
"What we gotta do is put the responsibility on the individual," said Robert Miller.
However, some say tougher laws will not help with the county's limited resources.
"We simply don't have the funding to enforce the laws that already exist," said Kimberly Hughes, an area attorney.
Two years ago the county passed an ordinance that fined owners 500 dollars if their dog attacked a person or other animal.
One official says no time table has been set for the draft of the new ordinance that may be the last thing between an entire ban on vicious dogs, that may include pit bulls.
"If what we draft this time around we find is not dealing with the issue," said Justice of the Peace Mary Bournival, "then the ban may pop its ugly head."