Loose Dog Complaints Brought to Hamlet Town Council

The Town of Hamlet is looking to crack down on loose and vicious dogs. A couple dog complaints were brought to the town council Wednesday.

One resident said she’s had an ongoing problem with a neighbor’s pit bull. She said that last week, it attacked another woman and her dog, who were passing by. “I think right now it’s just a worry,” she told council members. “I have a 30-pound kid and a 16-pound kid, and when I watched this dog come at this woman, if they were to come at my kids like that, it would kill them. I literally have to park my vehicle so close to the front door and take one kid at a time with a baseball bat, and that’s how I get in and out of the car every day.”

Meanwhile, another group of residents said they’ve had incidents with a different pit bull, as well as other animals. “It’s not just the pit bulls,” a resident said. “That’s the ones that attacked our dog. But there’s other dogs that are loose all the time. And I can’t imagine that other people here can’t see that because there’s dogs running around, especially in the warmer months, and they’re not chained up and they never have been. And I see it because I walk around a lot.”

The problem, according to Town Marshal Clint Norem, is that by the time police arrive, the dogs are often back at home and chained up. Even when police are able to write a ticket, it often has little effect. Norem mentioned one dog owner who was cited twice, allegedly hasn’t paid, but continued to call police to help find the dog when it got loose again.

Council President Dave Kesvormas asked Town Attorney Martin Bedrock to start sending out collection letters to those who don’t pay their fines. “I just say we just take it to small claims court,” Kesvormas said, “and yeah, it’s going to cost us money, but it’s an inconvenience for them. Maybe they’ll come get the dog. People do the strangest things.”

Beyond that, council members discussed calling in the dogs’ owners for a special meeting to discuss the problem. Town officials also mentioned that dogs repeatedly found off of their owners’ property may be seized and taken to the Starke County Humane Society.