After about a year of discussions on the topic, and with a case making its way through the court, the Bourbon County Commission decided Tuesday to just do away with the vicious dogs policy that had been written in 1987.
The commissioners, along with members of the Sheriff’s Office and county attorney Justin Meeks, determined that even updating the policy to better define a vicious dog would not solve the problem since the county does not have the employees to enforce it.
“If you don’t enforce a policy, why have it?” Meeks asked.
Under the previous policy, it was left to the sheriff’s deputies to answer calls concerning vicious dogs, but that department does not have the manpower or the equipment to respond to such calls or handle the animals, even if they are able to catch them.
Undersheriff Ben Cole said even having a deputy focus full-time on vicious dog calls would not be sufficient, and would also be expensive due to the deputy’s wages, a kennel and other equipment and mileage from traveling through the county. He added it is up to the county to prioritize what they want to accomplish and devote county funds to.
By dissolving the policy, circumstances involving vicious dogs become a civil issue. Pit bulls are also no longer banned in the county, though Meeks pointed out some homeowners’ insurance policies have their own restrictions on owning such dogs.