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Taylorsville mayor charged with harboring a vicious animal

Updated: May. 10, 2017 at 9:08 PM EDT
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TAYLORSVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Taylorsville Mayor Don Pay was charged with harboring a vicious animal after authorities said one of his dogs attacked a neighbor and claim, it's not the first time it's happened.

Spencer County Animal Control Officer Melvin Gore told WAVE 3 News, he filed the charges after the Australian-Shepherd mix bit one of the mayor's neighbors.

Two different victims said they were attacked by the mayor's dog, one even had a note from the Mayor admitting it happened.

"I walk these three blocks here, daily," said Jannie Lewis, a neighbor of Taylorsville Mayor Don Pay.

Lewis said she's glad that when she was out walking on Garrad Street April 2, her five-year-old daughter was not with her. Lewis said that's because the mayor's dog, which was usually chained up, came flying out his house and attacked her.

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"He jumps straight out, onto my leg," she said," and just takes a chunk out of my leg!"

Police and animal control were called. Lewis said she was taken to the hospital and showed pictures of her injuries, deep bruises on her thigh.

A photo from the website Spencer County Watchdog showed the mayor visiting the dog in quarantine.

Lewis explained that the mayor eventually stopped at her house, not to talk to her, but to leave a $25 gift card on her doorstep with a note saying he was sorry about his dog. In the note, it stated his dog Charlie was on a line but got out of its collar. Lewis claimed when she later ran into the mayor's wife, his wife scoffed at the idea of paying for her medical costs. Lewis alleged the mayor's wife said the couple instead needed to spend their money to build a fence for their dogs.

What made Lewis really mad? She and Animal Control said this isn't the first time it's happened. More than a year ago, former neighbor William Wilson claims, the mayor's same dog bit him too.

"The dogs always are in the backyard," he said of the mayor's pets, " they've got them on a line."

Wilson continued, "All the sudden, the dog just came out and when it came out, it grabbed me by the leg."

Wilson said he tried to hit the dog with his cell phone to get it off him, discovered a surface wound and then called the police.  He said a report was not made.

Wilson and Lewis both said they are glad Spencer County Animal Control Officer Melvin Gore filed charges before anyone else got hurt.

"I'm glad it was me and not a little kid," Lewis said.

"What if the (dogs) had grabbed one of them?" Wilson added of the dogs and the children in his old neighborhood.  "It's about time something is being done," he said, "the simple fact is, just because he's the mayor, don't mean he's got a free pass."

>> VIDEO: Watch Connie's report

Mayor Pay did not return WAVE 3 News reporter Connie Leonard's calls.

The dog is still being held by animal control until the misdemeanor charge can be heard May 26.

Assistant Spencer County Attorney, Melanie Brummer said, she's still investigating, but adds, the Mayor, just like anyone else, is subject to a criminal charge when public safety is at risk.

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