The city of Tupelo, Mississippi plans to introduce an ordinance in the coming weeks that would regulate the ownership of pit bulls, rottweilers, German shepherds and Doberman pinschers.
While the director of the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society, Debbie Hood, claims in the below article that she believes irresponsible owners are the problem, in a separate article published on September 19, 2011, we learn that not only does she support BSL but, in fact, has been working with city officials in crafting the breed specific ordinance.
Please send your POLITE, RESPECTFUL and INFORMATIVE letters in opposition to the Tupelo city officials listed below. Please also include suggestions and viable alternatives for their consideration. The council meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month. Agendas can be found at this link; http://www.tupeloms.gov/city-council/
City of Tupelo
71 East Troy Street
Tupelo, MS 38804
P.O. Box 1485
Tupelo, MS 38802-1485
Mayor Jack Reed Jr.
James (Jim) Newell
There is also an online contact form:
Tupelo is looking at mean-dog ordinance
By EMILY LE COZ – Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
TUPELO — Large-breed dogs with dangerous reputations could come under stricter control if a proposed ordinance passes the City Council.
A group of municipal leaders and other stakeholders who have studied the issue will recommend the measure within the next few weeks. It aims to reduce hundreds of monthly calls about aggressive dogs — especially pit bulls — and prevent future attacks.
But some animal advocates blast the measure for unfairly targeting specific breeds, saying it punishes responsible pet owners whose dogs have done nothing wrong. They want an ordinance against aggressive animals without identifying pedigree.
“Unfortunately, you need a first-bite incident to say that’s a dangerous dog,” said Tupelo veterinarian Stephen King, who opposes breed-specific legislation. “On the flip side, if you do a breed specific, you’ve penalized responsible dog owners of that type of breed who show no aggression or dangerous behavior.”
Dogs, from pit bulls to teacup poodles, are only as aggressive as their owners allow, he said.
Those in favor of the ordinance agree with King about owner-induced aggression but argue that Tupelo’s specific pit-bull problem can’t be ignored. The bloodline has a history of violent behavior perpetuated by some of the owners who typically choose this type of pet, said Tupelo-Lee Humane Society Debbie Hood.
“I blame the irresponsible owners of these pit bulls for the ordinances to come down on the other, responsible owners,” Hood said. “We agree it should be a dangerous dog ordinance, but the city doesn’t want to wait until a dog is deemed dangerous.”
Hood said the animal shelter fields about 200 calls a month, and the vast majority involve errant and aggressive pit bulls.
In addition to pit bulls, other breeds could be singled out in the proposal, said the subcommittee’s chairman, Ward 5 City Councilman Jonny Davis. He wants to recommend mandatory registration and annual permit fees for owners of Rottweilers, German Shepherds and Doberman Pinschers, too.