COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A Phenix City couple is heartbroken after two pit bulls jumped a fence into their yard and killed their eight pound little malti-poo named Harley.
By the time law enforcement tracked down the dogs, they had returned home and according to the sheriff's office, and because it was a dog-on-dog fight, they can't legally take the dogs, which the law considers "property."
Harley's owners, Paul Rowe and Dixie McElroy, are absolutely right to demand stronger dog laws in Alabama - not just a citation - as was given in this case, or minor fines.
We support stronger statutes that would allow owners of animals killed by roaming dogs - who by law must be kept fenced or leashed - to be fairly compensated for their loss.
Rowe and McElroy's other dog Ryder was injured in the attack and the couple now has $2,000 in vet bills to compound their pain.
It is simply wrong and irresponsible for any dog owners to let their pets roam a neighborhood with unpredictable results.
But it also needs to be illegal and the offending dog owners must be made to pay for their negligence.
New laws are not always the answer to every problem, but when irresponsible pet owners endanger other animals and people, a new law is urgently needed.
It's time for Alabama lawmakers to send the strongest possible dog owner accountability law through the legislature and on to the governor for his signature.
General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to WTVM Editorial Committee or write to:
WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, GA 31906
Copyright 2014 WTVM. All rights reserved.