Stray Dogs

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Stray animals can be a menace no matter where they are. In Grand Ridge, community members say the stray animal problem has gotten out of control.

While some communities are being littered with trash, one is being littered with unwanted litters.

Cynthia Cuenin says, "We live on a big piece of land. We have lots of woods and that makes it a pretty desirable spot for people to dump animals."

Cynthia Cuenin says that animal dumping in this Grand Ridge community is so common that sometimes she feels captive in her own yard.

"It's a shame we live in such a beautiful rural community and can't go for a walk with my daughter because I'm afraid of a stray dog coming up and biting her or me, or who knows."

Her neighbors seem to agree.

Charles Benefield says, "I suppose they're trying to find something to eat, so we have a problem with them down this way tearing up garbage cans and just literally destroying stuff.”

Charles Cuenin adds, "You can't take a walk around here and exercise. The dogs are libel to chase you all over the place. You never know and there's lots of these silly pit bulls that are lose."

Jackson County's Animal Control Department is currently a one-man operation and he's been out for nearly a month with an on the job injury. When that happens in a county over 900 square miles, problems like this can only escalate.

County officials say they plan to hire emergency help in the near future. Jackson County does not have an animal shelter. It contracts on a per animal basis with control of northwest Florida in Chipley. Last year it cost taxpayers almost $66,000.