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Irresponsible owners of large dogs are allowing their animals to cause grief and destruction to other residents of the city according to Karen Reed.

She spoke on the subject to the Salmon City Councilís July 17 meeting.

Reed is the caretaker of Whitewater Therapeutic and Recreational Riding Associationís new miniature horse mascot, Lady Louise. The small horse is training to fill the tiny, well-traveled equine shoes of Tater Tot and Lady Louise is scheduled for her first visit to residents at the Care Center very soon.

On Sunday July 7 two dogs cornered Lady Louise and were chasing her around the paddock in which she was confined. Reed took pictures of the chaos to prove the event took place. She said she has had problems with a neighbor who allows his large dog to run loose. Her complaints did result in a ticket to the dog owner who now, according to Reed, lets his dog run after dark.

She cited instances of dog packs running loose and killing pet cats on the Bar Hill and the 30 laying chickens that were recently attacked and killed within the city limits. Reed urged the council to pass a leash law to help stop the problems. She offered to make posters as part of an information campaign encouraging people to take pictures of dogs at large.

Sergeant Terry Stratton of the Salmon Police Department advised her there is a leash law ordinance in effect which allows a judge to assess fines of up to $1,000. The problem with enforcement is that if the officer does not personally see the dog running loose no arrest can be made. Another challenge is that many times the dogs seem to know when the officer is coming. He said it is possible for a witness to an off-leash incident to sign a ticket that the officer will then present to the dog owner.

Stratton said the police need the publicís help in order to enforce the leash law. He said photos would help the police track the dogís owner. If a dog running loose is captured it is taken to the Humane Society Animal Shelter where in order to claim the dog the owner has to show proof of license and vaccinations and pay a fee for the time it has been incarcerated.

Referring to Reedís situation he suggested she submit a written statement to the police, along with the photographs of the dogs chasing Lady Louise, so they can identify the dog owner and refer the incident to the prosecuting attorney.

Another resident, who has had pets killed by dogs at large and has pursued the issue through the legal process suggested city officials encourage the court to enforce the leash law ordinance penalties.

The following day a public service announcement listing penalties connected with the cityís leash law ordinance was recorded by the Salmon City Police Department for use on KSRA. To report a dog or dogs running loose in the city call 911 or 756-8908.

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