ALERT: Okalona, Mississippi

Officials in Okalona, Mississippi are considering an ordinance that would target “dogs from the Staffordshire Terrier breed.” The below article focuses on resident response to the city’s proposal, and it appears many residents in Okolona DO NOT support a breed specific ordinance.

Please send your polite, respectful and informative opposition to BSL to the Okalona officials. Please also include viable alternatives, suggestions and good, breed-neutral ordinances for their consideration.

According to the city attorney, this issue could be voted on at the next council meeting. E-mail contact information is not available, but correspondence may be faxed to city hall at (662) 447-3956.

Okalona City Hall
215 W Main St
Okolona, MS 38860
(662) 447-5461
Fax (662) 447-3956

Residents sound off on possible ordinance
Reported by: Justin Lewis
Email: jlewis@wtva.com
Last Update: 1/11 10:16 pm

OKOLONA, Miss. (WTVA) — One Chickasaw County city continues to toy with whether they should adopt a strict animal control ordinance for its residents.

One that would single out a specific dog breed as a dangerous animal.

It’s dogs from the Staffordshire Terrier breed that are being singled out in a drawn up ordinance by the city of Okolona.

Under current wording an owner of an animal such as a pit bull would be forced to pay a one-time $50 fee or $150 late fee if they do not register their animal.

“When they come up barking and growling they scare me,” said Okolona resident Clancie Jennings.

Jennings said she does a lot of walking around downtown, an area she doesn’t feel safe in because of all types of dogs on the loose.

“They need to get them and do something with them,” she added. “I be walking a lot for my exercise because I’m a diabetic. Everywhere I go I be seeing dogs.”

Even some Okolona residents we spoke with who wouldn’t be affected by a breed specific ordinance, said if they’re going to regulate one breed they should regulate them all.

“I just think that they should be treated as any other pet or house dog or anything because they’re all the same,” said Shakieria Stanfield. “If they’re going to make you charge for one breed of a dog they should make you charge for all.”

“All dogs are dangerous because they all have teeth and they can bite so everybody that has a dog needs to fall under the ordinance,” added Okolona resident Rhonda Overstreet.

Stanfield has been around pit bulls all her life. After all, her father breeds them.

She’s not the least bit afraid of them and said they’re anything but dangerous.

“They’re very fun to be around, they’re not vicious dogs,” Stanfield said.

“They’re very protective of their owners so like once they’ve been around you for so long there’s nothing to be scared of once they get used to you.”

The proposed ordinance, which mirrors that the city of Tupelo currently has, also places stricter regulations on dogs at large.

Any such dog may be impounded or disposed of by the city, something one resident believes is needed in her neighborhood.

“I’ve called police early in the morning because kids catch the bus down there at Carter and Main Street,” Overstreet added. “There are packs of dogs coming down and you don’t know if a dog is going to attack a child or not.”

According to Okolona’s city attorney this ordinance could be voted on at next week’s recess meeting.

That meeting is set for 6 p.m. at the Okolona Auditorium

http://www.wtva.com/news/local/story/Residents-sound-off-on-possible-ordinance/LqDAX3M2IkmCJ8shXsf0Ag.cspx

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