DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - A vicious dog attack has neighbors in Livingston Parish at odds, but some wonder if it is an example of a bigger issue in the parish.
The parish has no full time animal control department or shelter, leaving law enforcement officials handling more than their share of calls.
A swollen neck and eyes are reminders of what Snookie's owners say was a vicious attack on the dog Monday by what neighbors believe was a pit bull.
"I walked over to my dog and he had blood all over him," said Cody Williamson.
Williamson said his father pulled the dog off Snookie while he was tied up on his run behind their trailer in the early morning hours.
"Whenever we walked up to him, his neck was all torn up. He does have pinholes from the teeth going through his neck completely. His jaw is swelling up pretty bad," added Williamson.
Williamson said the other dog belongs to a woman who lives a few homes down in the trailer park of Perkins Road in Denham Springs. The woman declined an interview, but off-camera denied her dog had anything to do with the attack.
A Livingston Parish sheriff's deputy filed a police report at the request of Williamson and his father. The call is just one of what Sheriff Jason Ard said in a phone interview is about 150 animal complaint calls per month for his deputies.
"Right now, we just don't have that recurring fund balance to be able to support a full fledged animal control center," said Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks. "The sheriff's department does a fantastic job of trying to take these calls and work with limited resources we have but it's a problem."
Ricks said the problem is being addressed by parish council leaders and state elected officials from the area, but added the ultimate decision on whether an animal control department is needed will come down to residents.
"The commission at the council put together to look for funding, they'll be meeting with the delegation, as I understand right now, the first part of next year to maybe introduce something in legislation and then it will be up to the people in the parish whether or not they want to support funding of fully controlled animal shelter," Ricks explained.
An additional fee for parish-wide animal control is something Williamson said he would support. He worries next time it could be his 5-year-old daughter.
"I would do whatever it takes, one to protect the animal and to protect the children on the streets. I mean, it could be anybody's child that could be attacked by a dog and they'll wonder why hasn't nothing been done, so that's what we're here to try and prevent," Williamson added.
According to Williamson, the owner of the pit bull mix was later issued a summons to appear in court stemming from the alleged incident.