Supervisors finalize new dog ordinance

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
March 28, 2001
Lauderdale County supervisors hope to have a dog ordinance in place by the time local Humane Society volunteers open their animal shelter.
District 3 Supervisor Craig Hitt and District 5 Supervisor Ray Boswell both on a supervisors' animal control committee were scheduled to meet with board attorney Rick Barry to finalize the ordinance.
He said there is also a better chance of children being bitten in subdivisions since homes are closer together.
As far as non-subdivided areas, Hitt said supervisors "don't necessarily want a law that says every time an animal control officer sees a dog running loose, he picks it up," but it will address problem animals.
Hitt said he and Boswell wrote the ordinance after reviewing similar ordinances in other Mississippi counties.
The ordinance says anyone in violation could pay fines no less than $100. At third and subsequent offenses, Hitt said fines will be at the discretion of a Justice Court judge, who could also order the animal be euthanized or put up for adoption.
Besides leashing and enclosing pets, the ordinance calls for clean pens, regular rabies vaccinations, noise control and humane treatment of pets. Captured animals can be impounded for five days with a $10 per day fee to be paid when the animal is picked up. After five days, the animal is the property of the animal shelter.
Supervisors are considering using county patrolmen as animal control officers.
Hitt said he thinks the majority of the board will support his suggestion and some discussed having all county patrolmen share the added responsibility.
He said there has to be a public hearing on the ordinance, so it will be at least 30 days before supervisors can vote on it.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.

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