KEYSER - A resident of the northern end of the county said he had his recent Labor Day family picnic interrupted by the presence of several pit bulls belonging to a neighbor, and this is not the first time for the animals to be on his property.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
KEYSER - A resident of the northern end of the county said he had his recent Labor Day family picnic interrupted by the presence of several pit bulls belonging to a neighbor, and this is not the first time for the animals to be on his property.
Steve Wilson was present at the Tuesday morning meeting of the Mineral County Commission, and he wanted the commissioners to know of the situation, including showing a video of the pit bulls on his back porch.
He told the commissioners that when driving past the neighbor’s property to get to his own land, located at the dead-end part of the road, in either his vehicle or his motorcycle, “I am chased by the four or five pit bulls.”
“I don’t know what to do,” Wilson said, adding that he had been in contact with Melissa Kidwell, the county’s animal control officer.
Kidwell was temporarily at the commission meeting and said that she could not go on the property of the pit bull’s owner and take the animals.
She said that on two occasions she had issued citations to the dog’s owner, and, “I was just there yesterday to fine him.”
This drew a response from Wilson, who said, “He won’t pay the fine.”
Kidwell said that further action could be taken if Wilson was bitten by the dogs.
Gaynor Cosner III, Mineral County assistant prosecuting attorney, was also present during part of the meeting to hear of the concerns from Wilson.
He said that according to the county leash law, the animals in question can be seized if they are “not under the owner’s voice control,” or the animals are not on their owner’s property.
To follow up on this action, Cosner said the animal control officer would then leave a notice on the door of the animal’s owner with information about the seizure of the dogs.
Sheriff Jeremy Taylor gave a suggestion on how to handle Wilson’s neighbor’s dogs and said that area “would be bombarded” with drive-through visits from the deputies, Kidwell, and Department of Natural Resources to show their presence.
After Kidwell left the commission meeting, she called back to the commissioners and wanted to know if she wrote a citation concerning the dogs, would Wilson, who has dated videos of the actions of the pit bulls, be willing go to court, and he said “yes.”