|The Kingsport Police Department has recently become aware of some confusion regarding the reporting of, and the official response to, vicious and nuisance animals within the City of Kingsport; therefore, some clarification on these procedures is in order.
Approximately four years ago, the City of Kingsport turned over all animal control issues to the SBK (Sullivan County, Bluff City, Kingsport) Animal Control Center. As such, SBK Animal Control Center now investigates these matters. With that being said, there is certainly a distinct difference between a nuisance animal (barking dogs, pets running at large off leash, etc.) and a vicious animal that is a genuine threat to the safety and welfare of the public.
SBK Animal Control Center is located at 2141 Idle Hour Road in Kingsport, and can be reached by calling 423-247-1671. An SBK representative is available to answer the phone during regular business hours which are 9:00 AM until 5:30 PM, Monday through Friday. During regular business hours, animal control officers are available to respond to all calls, with priority given to calls involving vicious animals that are a danger to the public.
After hours and on weekends, all calls to the SBK Animal Control Center are forwarded to an answering service. If the call involves a nuisance animal that is not an immediate threat to the safety and welfare of the public, the information will be collected and referred to an Animal Control Officer to investigate on the next business day. However, if the call involves a vicious animal and/or an actual animal bite incident, SBK Animal Control Officers are on-call and available to respond 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week. It is important to understand that their response time to a call-out may be as much as 30 minutes to an hour depending on the call location, time of day, and other factors.
While the Kingsport Police Department typically does not investigate calls involving animals, K.P.D. Officers are always available to respond to situations where a vicious animal is an immediate danger to the public. In such an event, citizens are encouraged to contact Kingsport Central Dispatch at 423-246-9111 or in a genuine emergency simply call 9-1-1, and a Patrol Officer will respond. In almost all situations, and especially after hours and on weekends, a K.P.D. Patrol Officer will have a faster response time than an SBK Animal Control Officer.
In the meantime, citizens are reminded that the City of Kingsport does have a “leash law,” which means allowing animals to run at large is prohibited by city ordinance.
|Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer
Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit