Medora Town Council looks to pull leash on dog problem



Medora officials have had enough with dogs running loose around town.

If the town marshal or a town employee sees a stray dog and is able to capture it, it’s kept in a kennel for three to five days with food and water provided.

If they can’t determine who the owner is or the owner doesn’t claim the dog, it’s taken to Red Sky Rescue, a nearby nonprofit no-kill dog shelter. Dangerous dogs, however, aren’t accepted there.

During a recent meeting, Marshal Richard Hanlin asked the Medora Town Council if the county’s animal control officer could help. New council President Jerry Ault said after talking to Sheriff Rick Meyer, the animal control officer doesn’t work inside incorporated communities unless it’s an emergency.

“That’s pretty sad because everyone here in town pays taxes for that position up there, too,” Hanlin said.

Steve Ingle, the town’s street and water superintendent, said very seldom does a stray dog’s owner claim it.

“We have had a few over the years that came and paid their (fine) and got their dog back, but probably 90% of them end up at Red Sky,” he said.

Town Councilman Jim Davers said Hanlin and the town employees need to work together to catch stray dogs. Hanlin said since he began as marshal a year ago, he has worked with Ingle and fellow town employee Junior Bowers in doing just that.

“He has called us on some, but then we can’t catch them,” Ingle said of helping Hanlin.

“Some run away,” Hanlin said.

“If you can, you need to find out who (the owner is) and talk to them,” Davers said.

“I agree, but if they don’t come to you and I don’t know who people’s dogs are, it’s kind of hard,” Hanlin said.

Ault asked Hanlin if he had issued any citations for residents violating the town’s animal ordinance. Hanlin said he issued one to a resident, but their dog is still running around town.

“I talked to her about it again the other day. She said they are in the process of trying to get rid of it,” Hanlin said, with Clerk-Treasurer Betty Campbell adding the woman came into town hall and said the same thing.

“There’s got to be something done with the dog because we’ve heard this for a long time,” Davers said.

Hanlin said if he sees a loose dog and is able to capture it and determine who the owner is, he will let them know they are in violation of a town ordinance.

“When they go to work, they turn them loose,” Davers said. “It’s getting ridiculous because people are going to try to have gardens and stuff in the summer and aren’t going to have anything.”

Hanlin said it may come to the point of putting traps out. Ingle said the town also has a dart gun that could be used to fire a tranquilizer dart to sedate a loose dog, but it requires more than one person because the dog sometimes runs a long way after being shot.

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