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The large number of dogs on the reservation have always been a problem on the reservation. These dogs are labeled as “rez dogs” and they are becoming a hazard to the public. (saverezdogs.com photo)

Tribal leaders are concerned about the growing number of dog bites reported.

In response, the Tribal Executive Board revived two positions of Animal Control Officers within Fort Peck Housing Authority.

Minutes state the Tribal Health Director Dennis Four Bear and Tom Escarcega Jr. told the council one of the animal control officers went back to work and the other will be back the day after.

Tribal Health is looking to hire a temporary worker, but there is a problem with people hiding dogs that are troublesome to the community. 

Since there is no dog pound, the Tribes will put the animal down, minutes state.

The former procedure was to take the animals in, put them in quarantine, and test them for disease. Now they are going to be put down regardless.

Animal control is doing the best they can with what they have, minutes state. But since there is no pound available, the Tribes have to kill the dogs. 

Tribal Health needs some kind of enforcement of the law regarding animals. 

Making the problem worse are the dog owners. When their animal bites someone and the dog is hidden by their owner.

Owners of these dogs need to be held accountable, minutes state. People will be held accountable if they continue to let their animals bite people. 

They are waiting to hear from an area veterinarian who said she might be able to hold the animals.

Councilman Terry Rattling Thunder said they could direct FPHA to have the FPHA reps direct them to reinstate their dog catchers and their animal leash laws. 

Four Bear suggested having a stray dog round up. 

Councilwoman Shannon Martell said FPHA should charge people with more than two animals more rent.

The dog issue came up again during the Law and Justice committee meeting. 

Chief Judge Stacie Fourstar said she would look into people hiding their dog. She also said there is no definition of what qualifies as a ‘stray dog’ in tribal law. 

Councilman Rattling Thunder said if there are going to be changes to the animal laws, it should include wording that if someone is hiding a dog it’s a crime.


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