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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2006
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EDITORIAL

Cell phone won't solve dog problems in Lawrence

As city residents become more affluent, they tend to flee to the wide-open spaces of the country.

Unfortunately, this urban flight brings with it many of the problems associated with the city. And officials in rural areas are often unprepared for the changes. Lawrence County commissioners and Animal Control officer Carolyn Atchison are all too familiar with the trend.

The absence of a leash law in the county has become a problem for Ms. Atchison as East Lawrence continues to grow and attract new residents. It is perfectly legal in the county to let one's dog run loose — but that doesn't make it right.

Pet owners have an ethical obligation to control their animals. And Ms. Atchison can't be expected to "pet sit" for every dog in the county.

Commissioners hear complaints on a regular basis about animals running loose. They have responded by purchasing a cell phone for Atchison.

If they really want to reduce the number of complaints, however, they must adopt some kind of animal-control law. While a leash law may be too severe for the rural areas, there are alternatives, such as invisible fences.

Regulation is one of the things people try to escape when fleeing the city. But if they can't be responsible without it, county officials have to take more drastic steps.

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