In rural Warrick County, you may not have to look very far to find an animal roaming the land.
Believe it or not, if your dog or cat wanders onto the wrong lawn – your neighbor has the right to shoot it without reason.
“How dare you think you can take a gun and shoot somebody else’s property?” asks Chandler neighbor Gail Roberts.
She’s talking about a county ordinance dating back to 1992 that gives people the authority to indiscriminately kill a domestic animal running at large on his or her property.
Now after more than two decades on the books, the county commission is a vote away from extra protections for pets on the loose by repealing the current language to put it in line with state law.
Commissioner Marlin Weisheit says it’s a matter of getting with the times.
“If a dog is just a nuisance we have other alternatives,” he says, “they can contact animal control, have the animal picked up then the owner of the animal can be charged a fine.”
It’s expected the amended ordinance will pass at the next commission meeting June 13.
The new ordinance states an animal would need to pose a threat to you, your own pets, or your property in order to shoot it.
“It’s good. I think that you shouldn’t be allowed to just kill an animal,” says Boonville neighbor Susan Simpson.
Warrick County Sheriff Brett Kruse says this isn’t a common problem his department faces. He says most people wouldn’t kill a pet without reason.