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Proposal for animal officer supported
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                 Soldiers Grove

Editor -

The October 24th Crawford County Independent had a brief article entitled "County May Hire an Animal Officer."

I urge Crawford County citizens to express support for such a position. I'm a sheep and beef farmer in Utica township and I've had heartbreaking and economically stinging experiences over the past 5 years with a neighbor's dogs attacking and killing my sheep. The Town Board and the Sheriff's department, though always sympathetic, have been powerless, despite the repeated nature of these incidents, to do what needs to be done--that is, get rid of the problem animals.

An Animal Control Officer would have that power.

Most of us, when we pay property taxes, also pay a "dog tax" and our dogs are licensed. The dogs that have killed and wounded my sheep were not licensed. An Animal Control Officer could enforce this regulation; the townships currently do not.

It is a horrible experience to have ones sheep ripped, bloodied and killed by dogs--one that I hope to stop here on my farm and see averted for others who raise livestock.

Some may ask, "Well, what would that cost us? Where would that money come from?" I think that in terms of dispatch, deputy and administrative costs, it probably cost the Sheriff's department well over $3,000 this summer to deal with my the dog issue for my farm alone! And I'm just one little farmer. I'm sure the establishment of this position would actually reduce the costs to the county, for the problems could be resolved, and not go on and on. Please express your support.

The article in last week's Independent said to express your comments and concerns to Crawford County Dispatch at 608-326-8414. Thank you, Sheriff McCullick, for addressing this issue!

- Bonnie Wideman, Pine Knob Organic Farm