Dog Fight: County Judge Bites Back After City Council Comments

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MikeMalone

Carter County Judge Executive Mike Malone responded to comments recorded during Tuesday’s Grayson City Council meeting regarding responsibilities for handling stray dogs, saying a citizen’s legal claims “are patently wrong.”

During the city council’s meeting, Jennifer McGlone presented copies of a legal precedent she felt clearly confirms the county is responsible for picking up stray dogs within city limits. Mayor George Steele said the court case should assist in efforts to work with county officials.

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Steele said “36 years of noncompliance” might require the use of an attorney to represent both Grayson and Olive Hill. City Attorney Jason Greer noted he would have a conflict and would not be able to handle the issue on behalf of the municipalities.

“We can work on this one. It went through the court and appeals and it went for the city both times,” Steele said.

Malone said he is “tired of fighting” about the subject, and offered clarification from the county government’s perspective.

“They think that because they’re paying county taxes they are entitled to this. We are required to house animals at no charge, but not to pick them up too,” Malone said.

“I am tired of fighting about it. If they feel they’re right, they ought to lawyer up and sue us,” he said.

“They need to find out what they are required to do,” Malone continued.

“I’m really tired of explaining this,” he added, explaining the city and county could indeed work together, but an interlocal agreement between the city council and the county’s fiscal court would be need to make that work.

A member of the county judge’s staff advised KRS 258.195 states the rules “very clearly.”

KRS 258.195  Employment, appointment, or contract with animal control officers — Establishment and maintenance of animal shelters — Intergovernmental agreements — Authority of animal control officers. (1) The governing body of each county shall employ, appoint, or contract with an animal control officer, or shall contract with an entity that employs, appoints, or contracts with an animal control officer, and shall establish and maintain an animal shelter as a means of facilitating and administering KRS 258.095 to 258.500. One (1) or more counties may enter into intergovernmental agreements for the establishment of regional animal shelters, or may contract with entities authorized to maintain sheltering and animal control services. Animal shelters shall meet the standards provided by KRS 258.119(3)(b) within three (3) years after July 13, 2004. Governing bodies may adopt additional standards and ordinances related to public health, safety, enforcement, and the efficient and appropriate operation of their shelters and their animal control programs. (2) Cities may employ, appoint, or contract with animal control officers, or may contract with an entity that employs, appoints, or contracts with animal control officers, for the enforcement of this chapter and local animal control ordinances within their corporate limits. Cities may enter into agreements with the counties for the enforcement of the county’s animal control ordinances. The agreement shall include, but shall not necessarily be limited to, setting out the jurisdiction and the duties of the animal control officer respective to the agreement. (3) Animal control officers shall have the authority to issue uniform citations, local citations, or local notices for the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter, the provisions of the Kentucky Revised Statutes relating to cruelty, mistreatment, or torture of animals, and animal control ordinances in their respective jurisdictions. Effective: July 13, 2004 History: Amended 2004 Ky. Acts ch. 189, sec. 15, effective July 13, 2004. — Amended 1998 Ky. Acts ch. 440, sec. 2, effective July 15, 1998. — Created 1954 Ky. Acts ch. 119, sec. 22, effective June 17, 1954.

                                Story and city council photo by TIM PRESTON

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