Union Parish citizens pleading for parish-wide leash law following reported dog attacks

UNION PARISH, La. (KNOE) - Two Union Parish families are calling for a parish-wide leash law after they said their pets were attacked by loose dogs.

Traci said her dog Maggie was attacked by a loose dog last September. Source: (KNOE)

Rodney Austin and his girlfriend April Thomason described their Sunday afternoon horseback ride as a nightmare. While riding near their home in Downsville, they said they were chased by a pit bull.

“It proceeded to jump on my girlfriend’s horse, biting it on the neck and then went after my horse,” Austin said.

The couple said their two horses Lil Bit and Jack were left bloodied and scarred with gashes on their neck and lower body. They’ve since gotten stitches and have had multiple vet check-ups.

Traci Futrell also lives in Union Parish. She said her 9-year-old dog Maggie was mauled twice last September. She said only after reviewing her home security footage she realized a neighbor’s dog was the culprit.

“Two dogs dragged her out and just viciously, viciously attacked her,” Futrell said. “She never fought back, she tried to get away, when she did get away, she ran around the backyard and they chased her back there.”

Futrell said Maggie had to get stitches both times after being bitten on her legs and neck.

Even though both their pets are healing and on the road to recovery, they’re urging the parish to reconsider its laws.

Union Parish does not have a leash law; however there is a state-wide law that can be used to determine if a dog is vicious or dangerous. .
According to a spokesperson from the Union Parish Sheriff’s Office, they abide by the state law.

The law states that in animal to animal contact, a dog is deemed dangerous if it is reported twice within a 36 month period. If the dog is considered dangerous it can be taken from the owner or put down.

Additionally, there is a state law regarding dogs being at large. It says that owners cannot legally allow their dog to run freely on another person’s property.

Futrell and others agree that there should be a parish-wide leash law. Futrell said all it takes is one report that can stand between a life or death situation.