Resident wants dogs on leashes

Mary Lou Mack just wanted to pick up her grandson at school Wednesday afternoon.

But a dog running around near Sunset Elem--entary School didn't want her to.

"He was terrorizing everybody," she said about the dog.

The dog tried to bite Mack's daughter on their way to the school and bit Mack on their way home.

Mack said the dog tried to bite her grandson, as well, but she stopped it.

"My grandson thinks I'm his hero," she said.

The police came, the dog was impounded, and its owner was cited for having the dog running around without a leash or a collar.

Mack went to the hospital for the bite, which she said went all the way to her wrist bone, but did not require stitches.

"He was just a terror," Mack said. "I could have been worse off."

Mack wasn't sure what kind of dog it was, but she said it was a big one.

"It is hard to tell with dogs if they have rabies," she said. "Some you can tell you can trust, some you can't."

In August, Craig police responded to 254 animal calls. Some were for stray dogs or cats, and others were for barking dogs.

Capt. Jerry DeLong of the Craig Police Dep--artment said the number of animal-related calls increase in the summer because pets give birth to their litters in the spring.

Of the 254 calls in August, an animal control officer responded to 172. For the rest of the calls, other police officers responded.

DeLong said capturing animals can be a challenge for officers other than animal control because they don't always have the necessary tools.

He said wild or stray dogs that don't have owners are much more difficult to catch than dogs that are simply out of their owners' yards.

The Craig City Council approved a pet ordinance earlier this year that requires animals be spayed or neutered before they are adopted. The ordinance also reiterated laws requiring leashes and collars.

There were 212 calls in August 2004, 42 fewer than this year, but DeLong said the ordinance probably hasn't had much of an effect on the number of calls that officers receive.

"I can't say the calls have increased because of the new ordinance," he said.

Down the road, he thinks the number of calls will decrease because of the new ordinance, in part because pets have to be fixed before being adopted.

"Over the long run, it will be better for the community," he said.

After her experience Wednesday, Mack said she supports keeping all dogs on a leash, which she does with her own pets.

"There has got to be some sort of enforcement," she said. "Or someone is really going to get hurt one of these days."

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