GRANDVIEW - With the elimination of Grandview's animal control officer position, is a major dog problem looming on the horizon?
Maybe so, according to Grandview Police Chief Dave Charvet.
The position was one of many budget cuts for Grandview, brought on in part by unexpected 2008 expenditures, like the city council-approved expenditure to Prosser Memorial Hospital to maintain ambulance services, $92,500, spread out in three payments over the course of three years.
The first payment was made this year.
From now on, said Charvet, police officers will only respond to certain calls.
"We'll be handling all dangerous animal calls," he said. "For example, dog bites and pit bull issues. Pit bulls are classified as a dangerous animal in our community.
"We'll also be handling nuisance calls, like continuous barking problems at night."
Added Charvet, "That's pretty much it."
No more responses to dogs running at large, unless they're dangerous. No more responses to calls reporting an unwanted animal in the yard.
In fact, says Charvet, Grandview citizens with valid complaints of ordinance violations regarding animal laws will have to take it up with the Grandview City Attorney, Jack Maxwell.
And, added Charvet, rather than neighbors calling to complain about dogs, he'd like neighbors to get to know one another, creating a dialogue to address situations when an animal wanders into a neighboring lawn.
In terms of Grandview's animal shelter, it will only be used to house dangerous dogs.
"We're not going to be able to pick up stray dogs," he said.
"We're going to have a major dog problem."
The Grandview Police Department is currently in talks with the Humane Society of Central Washington.