Fowl case spurs county animal code action

Hood River County recently paid $125 for six slain turkeys but officials don’t want to foot the bill for extremely valuable livestock.

The County Commission is considering a $1,000 cap on the amount that owners will be reimbursed for farm animals that are killed by a dog. A public hearing on the issue will begin at 7 p.m. on Oct. 6 in the second floor conference room of the courthouse.

Under the county’s existing animal control ordinance, the owner of livestock — including ducks, geese and rabbits — that is killed by a dog may ask the public entity to cover the financial loss. The county board then has the option to decide how much to pay on that claim before seeking to recoup money from the owner of the canine.

However, a recent case involving the loss of six domestic turkeys raised the question about how much taxpayers should be required to pay.

The Parkdale owner of the birds that were killed by an unknown dog only sought $25 in damages for each bird. But the commission said that request could be much higher if the victim of the attack was a $20,000-$30,000 Alpaca, or another exotic species of animal.

After consulting with county counsel Tuenis Wyers, the elected body decided that the owners of most high-priced livestock would have them covered by a special insurance policy. They believed that $1,000 would be enough to pay for the replacement of most domestic species.

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