LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A change is coming to an ordinance with Lufkin Animal Services for how their officers deal with dogs that are consider dangerous or potentially dangerous.
The old ordinance that has been on the books since 1992 forced the city to pay for a behavioral exam whenever a case was sent to court on a dog they seized that they believed was dangerous. Many of the cases revolve around a dog attack on a human or another animal.
"These exams are done by people who are certified and have been doing this for years," Shelter Director Aaron Ramsey said. "There are only five in the state, and then there are only three that deal with criminal cases. It is sometimes really hard to get these dogs over there."
Ramsey said the exams can cost around $400 a dog, and that does not include the transportation costs and paying the employee a day of time to travel to and from the exam.
"That burden needs to fall on the actual dog owner if they choose to have the assessment done," Ramsey said.
Ramsey said the owner of the dog in question could pay to have the exam done and the city will work with setting it up.
"I don't want this to get twisted, and people think we are taking some right away," Ramsey said. "We are not doing that. We just want to take the burden off of us."
Ramsey said the cases will still have to go through court.
"Just going to court does not mean the animal gets put down," Ramsey said. "The judge could also rule that the person can keep the animal as long as certain steps are taken. These including us inspecting the enclosure and certain harnesses being required on the dog."