Attorneys seek agreement on leash law

(Filed September 24, 2013) Benton- Attorneys representing the cities of Benton, Calvert City and Hardin have been tasked by the Marshall County Fiscal court to work out agreeable language on a leash law that may or may not be enforced by all three cities. Benton City Attorney Martin Johnson told the Fiscal Court during their meeting last week the city of Benton wants a leash law to be applicable in parks like Mike Miller Park. He said they wanted some kind of restrain on dogs if they are being walked.

According to Hardin City attorney Jason Darnall Hardin already has a leash law. Calvert City Attorney Greg Northcutt was also present for the meeting and questioned how the measure would be enforced and whether or not they should consider a civil penalty instead of a fine for enforcement.

Marshall County Judge Executive Mike Miller said they had not tried to impose a leash law in the county because of the difficult of enforcement and the nature of having dogs in a rural area.

It was suggested that the county’s new animal control officers should enforce the proposed leash law. Commissioner Misty Drew said she wanted a uniform fee structure and for the animal control officers to enforce the leash law.

Johnson indicated that Benton also wanted the county’s animal control officers to enforce the proposed leash law and collect the fees. He said the city council strongly supported the passage of a leash law.

Northcutt, Darnall and Johnson agreed to meet and work out a leash law that any one of the three cities could chose to whether to participate in or not. Judge Miller asked them to report to the court.

Commissioner Terry Anderson said that some people had talked to him and wanted pit bulls prohibited. He said they supported similar legislation to that adopted by Livingston County recently and being considered by Graves County.

Commissioner Drew said, “I’m so opposed to that.” She said more people were bitten by lap dogs.