March 4, 2010 9:56:00 AM
A low number of citizens responding to voluntarily registering their dangerous or vicious animals has the Columbus Police Department planning to take different measures.
According to CPD Capt. Fred Shelton, since Jan. 11, less than 20 people have voluntarily registered their animals that are defined as vicious or dangerous animals in an ordinance on animal control passed by the Columbus City Council in 2008. Shelton is the city''s animal control supervisor.
Jan. 11 was the first day citizens could start bringing their animals to the Columbus-Lowndes Animal Control office, located in the former Maxxim Medical plant off Highway 69.
"We are looking to take different measures to get people to comply with this. One is we are going to have our police officers when they are out on regular patrol to go by the homes of people who have these animals who are considered dangerous or vicious to get them registered so they can be in compliance. This will be an on-site registration. We will give them time to comply and get their animals registered," he said.
Shelton added that according to the ordinance, if they fail to comply within a few days, they will be fined $50 for the first offense, $75 for the second and $100 for a following offense.
According to the ordinance, a vicious or dangerous animal is, "any animal that attacks or bites humans or other domestic animals or otherwise jeopardizes the well-being of humans or other domestic animals shall be a vicious or dangerous animal."
Shelton said if people fail to comply with the request to get them registered could also face getting fines or even forfeiting their animals to Columbus-Lowndes animal control officers.
"We can fine them only so many times, and each time people do not comply with registering, we can legally take a step to start procedures to forfeit the animals. The municipal judge has given us that step," he said.
Shelton hopes it does not come to people having to forfeit their animals.
"We want to give people the chance to get their animals registered and in compliance," he said.
Allen Baswell is a former staff reporter for The Dispatch
Mark commented at 3/4/2010 6:21:00 PM:
Why aren't parents required to register dangerous or vicious children? They pose more of a threat and there are a larger number.
TD2654 commented at 3/5/2010 4:42:00 AM:
So - these vicious animals are just the ones that
"any animal that attacks or bites humans or other domestic animals or otherwise jeopardizes the well-being of humans or other domestic animals shall be a vicious or dangerous animal."
... if they haven't attacked or biten a human, other domestic animal - then the rest is speculation and cause for all dogs and/or cats to be registered. Every dog and cat can bite and attack a human - thus every dog and cat may jeopardize the well-being of humans.
Ever been bit by a Lhasa Apso? I remember my brother's ear nearly being torn off by one of those little dogs. I don't, however, have any personal experience with larger dogs causing harm. Ever had a cat go nuts on you? Claws everywhere and needle-like scratches all over your extremities -- I'd say that was rather vicious.
I've seen snakes bite the hand that feeds them - lizards do the same (had a pet chameleon and they sometimes will latch on to fingers not to mention how vicious they were to the crickets we fed him, or how about the mice the snakes viciously devour). We had two gerbils who killed eachother in a fight and then we found out that gerbils are known to attack eachother if they're not from the same brood - thus if you get gerbils you would have to register them since they can be vicious and "attack or bite .. other domestic animals."
So I suppose to be safe and fully comply with this law - every single pet owner should register their animal with the city as every single pet can bite and attack you -- well except maybe a goldfish (all of you goldfish owners shouldn't have to worry about this).
matt commented at 3/5/2010 10:48:00 AM:
The law seems to make no sense. Is there a certain kind of dog that has to be registered?
michelle commented at 3/5/2010 10:44:00 PM:
Oh registering a "agressive dog"is important and or you will be fined but the law makers are not sure about passing a law about animal cruelty..ummm that makes sense to who??fully comply with what?it is okay at least till august to be cruel to cats and dogs while someone makes up thier mind about a law but if your chia-poo bites me you will be fined okay buddy,,got that folks.i could care if someone does not like this comment,cruelty to pets is horrific and should not be some drawn out process to decide if its a crime...catch up mississippi these laws are in place in almost all 50 states..YES I am a dog lover and get that dog off a chain when your done reading this,,, chains are not for dogs.
2. Starkville ethics complaints: 'Anything goes in executive session' STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY
4. Court reporters key part of trials COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
5. Storied locked antlers find their way home COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY