Jackson County urging owners to register ‘dangerous’ dogs

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JACKSON COUNTY (KSNT)- The clock is ticking for Jackson County residents who own pit bulls to get them registered with the county.

After being banned for more than 20 years, that breed, and other so-called dangerous breeds are now legal, “If you did own a pit bull, you had to have a $50,000 insurance policy, and so basically all in all it was illegal to have pit bulls, Tim Morse Jackson County Sheriff said.

Even with those restrictions in place, it didn’t stop dog owners from sneaking them in, “We knew that we had pit bulls in the county, and it’s a violation and it’s been a violation since 1989,” Rod Ladner, Jackson County Commissioner said.

So, Ladner decided instead of punishing people they’d make a new resolution to the existing rule, “And to make people legal.”

Now owners of pit bulls, or hybrids of them, are expected to have their dog registered with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office by April 1st, and pay an annual $25 fee to the department.

“Because it costs money to register and enter the information in to their cad system,” Ladner said.

But since the resolution rolled out on March 2nd only three people have picked up one of the sheets and paid the fee to register their dog. A number the sheriff’s not buying, “There’s more than that.”

And the new resolution is about more than just making dog owners pay up.

“We want to know where those dogs are at, so that when they enter a residence on a call than they know that there could be a problem that they need to be aware of,” Ladner said.

Plus, they don’t know how many of those dogs are out there, “We don’t know if it’s 5, 500, we don’t know if it’s an issue at all,” Ladner said. “So after maybe a year or two and we look at it and we find out it’s really not an issue than we can go in amend that resolution.”

Until then, if a dog owner’s caught with an unregistered dog they face up to a $500 fine, or even jail time.

County commissioners told us that because of problems getting the word out about the new requirement, there’s a new deadline of May 1st to register. After that the fines and penalties are in effect.

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