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Editorial - Are we going to the dogs?

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By Gary Phillips

Going to the dogs. It’s an old cliche that basically means something is not as successful as it once was, that it’s failing. But here in Pageland that phrase has taken on a much more literal meaning over the past several weeks and months.
Packs of “wild” or at least certainly unrestricted dogs are roaming our town terrorizing other pets, damaging property and generally being a nuisance. Every week there are police reports filed about dogs killing cats or acting aggressive towards people. Pet owners are understandably upset when their cat or small dog is injured or killed by free-roaming dogs.
Our police department answers these calls and takes the report, but unfortunately that’s about all they can do. The town doesn’t have an animal control department, but Pageland residents pay county taxes and a portion of that goes to pay for animal control services provided by Chesterfield County.
It’s no secret that the animal control department in Chesterfield County has caught a lot of criticism over the past 14 months or so following the killing of several dogs at the county landfill by animal shelter employees. The good news is that since then, major improvements have been made in the handling of animal problems and in the condition and operation of the shelter.
But that’s little or no consolation to someone whose beloved pet has been ripped to shreds by a pack of wild dogs and seemingly nothing is being done about it.
Last time we looked at a map of Chesterfield County, Pageland was within those lines. We’re sure it still is. Do other communities in the county have similar dog problems that go unaddressed? That’s a real question. If you live in Chesterfield, Cheraw, McBee or Patrick and your town has a problem with wild dogs, please let us know so we won’t feel like Pageland is the only neglected town in the county. That’s the way it looks and feels right now.
This subject was raised at the most recent Pageland Town Council meeting and one councilman hit the nail squarely on the head when he told some horrific stories about dogs killing cats in Pageland and then said “I know we’re not in the dog catching business, but it looks like the county isn’t, either.”
Pageland residents and taxpayers, do you think you’re  getting a good deal or a raw deal?