Ascension Parish sets dog owner requirements
DONALDSONVILLE - Ascension Parish has a new set of requirements for dog owners that have certain types of canine companions considered "dangerous."
Shane Laurent has owned dogs his whole life, and as a dog owner, he said there's no such thing as a the perfect dog, but it's the owner that can make all the difference.
"It's all about how they're trained," said Laurent, an owner of three dogs. "I mean everybody is so worried about stereotypes and labeling people and all that stuff. You're doing the same thing to animals."
Right now, it's state law that a dog considered "dangerous" must be securely locked up in a pen or cage. Dangerous meaning a dog has biten a person.
Ascension officials say they realized that the state law did not give any specific details on how to secure a dangerous dog and decided to come up with their own additional requirements.
"Over half of the dogs bites that occur are perpetrated on children under the age of seven, or the elderly, so its our responsibility in our department to see that we do everything we can for the public that we put them in a safe environment," said Michael LeBlanc, Animal Control Director.
The requirements state that owners must have a certain "dangerous" dog tag, a cage with warning signs such as "dangerous" or "will bite" posted around it, and the dog must be micro-chipped. However, many in the parish don't agree with the changes.
"I don't find it necessary if you have it caged chained good enough, strong enough, said Laurent. "If you're worried about kids, parent need to be close by it's not the dogs fault if the kid hit the dog a certain way and it reacts."