Animals Free to Run Without Leash Laws

Published: Jul. 25, 2003 at 9:50 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 25, 2003 at 9:56 PM CDT
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A 5-year old Redland girl who was mauled by dogs over the weekend is still in stable conditon.

But the attack has some people wondering what types of laws are governing vicious dogs in East Texas. Many East Texas counties do not have leash laws, which require people to keep dangerous breeds locked behind a fence or chained up.

Smith County Constable Frank Creath says without a leash law there's little authorities can do unless an animal shows definite signs of aggression.

"You can't arrest somebody for what they're thinking," says Creath. "It's the same thing with these dogs. You can't pick them or or arrest them until they actually do something."

In Van Zandt County, where the attack happened Saturday, there are no leash laws. Authorities are checking to see if a pit bull found on the property was involved.