Article Comment 

Oktibbeha Supervisors looking into vicious dog laws

 

Tim Pratt

 

In the wake of three recent dog attacks south of Starkville, the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors is looking into measures to help control dangerous animals.  

 

District 5 Supervisor John Young Monday said he is "very concerned" by the handful of attacks over the past three weeks on farm animals in his district. He plans to research dangerous dog laws and ordinances in different counties and municipalities around the state, including Starkville.  

 

No leash laws or dangerous dog laws exist in Oktibbeha County outside Starkville city limits. 

 

"This is something we''re going to have to address immediately," Young said after the Board of Supervisors met Monday morning in the Oktibbeha County Courthouse.  

 

The most recent attack occurred Aug. 12 off Chapel Hill Road, when a couple reported seeing three dogs, including at least one pit bull, after the animals killed one goat and injured two others on their property. 

 

The attack occurred less than three weeks after two separate attacks at nearby Mactoc Farm on July 25.  

 

The first attack occurred during the early morning hours of July 25, when four calves were killed and more than a half-dozen were injured. The property''s owners reported seeing two dogs during the initial attack.  

 

The dogs returned the night of July 25 with two others and the group killed a fifth calf before a family friend shot one of the dogs, which turned out to be a pit bull.  

 

The Oktibbeha County Sheriff''s Department believes the same dogs who attacked the calves at Mactoc Farm may be responsible for the attacks on goats last week on Chapel Hill Road. Deputies have been patrolling the area and citizens and supervisors have grown increasingly alarmed, Young said. He plans to look at Starkville''s code of ordinances, specifically the section which designates animals as "dangerous," for possible application in Oktibbeha County.  

 

In Starkville, a dog or a cat is considered dangerous if, "without provocation, (it) bites, inflicts injury, assaults or otherwise attacks a person in any place where such person is conducting himself or herself peaceably and lawfully, whether on public or private property, or attacks another animal when such animal is not on the property of the owner, possessor, or custodian of the attacking animal," according to the city''s animal control ordinance.  

 

The two recent attacks, if committed in Starkville, would designate the dogs suspected in the Oktibbeha County attacks as "dangerous." 

 

One problem the county could face, however, is enforcement of a dangerous animal ordinance, said District 4 Supervisor Daniel Jackson. In Starkville, police and animal control officers can issue summons and citations to owners of dangerous animals. But in Oktibbeha County, where there are no animal control officers, the task would be left up to the Sheriff''s Department.  

 

"That would mean adding more money to the Sheriff''s Department''s budget," Jackson said, noting the county already is facing a tight financial situation as budget season approaches. "There would be no point in passing something if we couldn''t enforce it."

 

 

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Reader Comments

Article Comment paladin commented at 8/17/2010 4:39:00 PM:

What good is a vicious dog law going to do in this case? This is just another example of how the world thinks more laws are going to improve life. This hasn't been a noticeable problem until this single pack started causing problems. So we create laws for this one instance?

No one will claim these dogs, so who are you going to cite?

If you see any of these dogs on your property, shoot them. Plain and simple.

Starkville has created ordinances out the wazoo, yet gangs of cats still roam my neighborhood. I don't know if Animal control can't catch them, doesn't want to, or what. In any case, the ordinances have done nothing to help the situation... only served to make some on the Board of Aldermen feel like they've accomplished something.

 

Article Comment starkvegan commented at 8/17/2010 4:52:00 PM:

Excellent point... 99% of the cars speed down my street even though there are several laws against it. I guess I should take paladin's advice and just start shooting the drivers as they go by.

 

Article Comment haiku commented at 8/18/2010 7:03:00 AM:

Stupid government,
More laws won't help this problem,
Shoot the vicious dogs.

 

Article Comment report commented at 8/18/2010 11:14:00 AM:

Mr. Jackson maybe you should ask your father about this problem, since he likes to beat his wife and stepson and send them to the E.R. maybe he can help with dog problem,

 

Article Comment paladin commented at 8/18/2010 5:04:00 PM:

Wow, Starkvegan. I doubt that you own a gun, but way to go overboard and start suggesting that we shoot humans.

How in the world have we survived all of these years without vicious dog laws, helmet laws, and every other ridiculous ordinance? It is a wonder! I guess just luck.

So you somehow catch the dogs (even though we don't have animal control in the county). The dogs have no collars, so you don't know who to charge. Then what.... Besides waste the humane society's money to hold them & then put them to sleep?

 

Article Comment usarover commented at 8/19/2010 9:11:00 AM:

a 33 cent bullet is much cheaper than adding $ to budgets or housing these 'suspected' dangerous animals

 

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