Sheriff’s office criticized for handling of dog issue

Nov. 15, 2012 @ 06:00 PM

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Editor:

I have been visiting the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area for the past 10 years, once a year, sometimes twice a year. I normally rent a cabin and usually spend around $3,000 every time I visit. That’s $30,000 I’ve contributed to the local economy.

Oct. 23 (my 10-year anniversary), I was staying in a cabin in the Sky Harbor area, and I let one of my beagles out, and was getting ready to put him on his tie-out. Two large pit bulls attacked him, and I had to take him to one of the local animal hospitals. Your local sheriff’s department did not even go up and question the person that was letting these dogs run loose. He did drive to the house when the people weren’t home and told me he wasn’t getting out because the owner had four pit bulls tied up, and four running loose. He turned it over to animal control and told me they would be up there the next day.

All I can say is, I stayed three more days and the dogs were still running loose. The officer also told me that he would talk to the owner and see about getting some of my veterinarian bill paid (my request $375). I heard nothing the rest of my trip from anyone. I find this pathetic to treat an out-of-town guest in such a way, by not providing me the same protection and service that anyone locally would have demanded.

I come from a law enforcement family, and I work for a federal enforcement agency, and I find this type of service inadequate. I hope these dogs do not attack a child or young person because of law enforcement’s decision to not to take action.

I would like to say however, that the animal hospital in Pigeon Forge treated my dog like he was just as important as a local pet. Maybe the sheriff’s department should practice the same type of service that they do.

My wife and I enjoy your area — the people, restaurants, and all other activities — however, your sheriff’s department has a lot to be desired. I hope they treat their local residents better than they treat your out-of-town guests, who probably contribute a lot to their paychecks.

Kevin R. King

Winslow, Ind.