ALERT: Okolona, Mississippi

We first learned that officials in Okalona, Mississippi were considering an ordinance that would target “pit bulls” in early January. News articles published at that time indicated that many residents in Okolona did not support a breed specific ordinance. Despite this, the city moved forward with the proposal, which is now in its final stages.

Previous alert for Okolona: https://blessthebullys.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/alert-okalona-mississippi/

Please send your polite, respectful and informative opposition to BSL to the Okolona officials. Please also include viable alternatives, suggestions and good, breed-neutral ordinances for their consideration. Talking points and alternatives can be found at this link.

Please keep in mind when corresponding with officials that our goal is to provide educated, well-reasoned objections to breed specific legislation to help them understand the ineffectiveness of these types of laws and their inability to create safer communities for their residents. Correspondence that is rude and argumentative will only compound their negative image of our dogs and the people who choose to have them in their lives. More importantly, it almost certainly results in officials turning a deaf ear to our position, undermining our ability to make a positive difference for the people and dogs who are counting on us to help them.

According to the the article, this issue will 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

Ordinance draft tougher on pit bull owners

OKOLONA, Miss. (WTVA) — An animal control ordinance for Okolona is in the final stages, but could prove costly to some pet owners.

Under the proposed ordinance, residents in the city would only be allowed three pets per home, but maybe even the bigger issue is the section targeting a certain breed of dogs.

“Also specifically identifies pit bulls and their prodigy or anybody that’s a mixed pit bull, it covers them,” said Okolona city attorney Gene Barton. “They’re automatically declared to be vicious animals.”

It doesn’t ban them. It just requires a permit fee. It requires liability insurance.”

Not only would pet owners be required to pay an annual $10 registration fee for each animal, pit bull owners would be forced to fork out $150 on top of that.

“It’s a public safety concern. I’ve had as city prosecutor at least two or three recent calls where, had one last week, where someone’s pet what eaten up by a pit bull,” Barton continued.

“Out on the loose, running around, barking at people, you know, trying to bite people,” added Ellis McVay, the animal control officer for the city.

McVay supports the proposed ordinance, especially after what he heard happened to someone else’s pet just last week.

“(On) Hawkins Street, had an issue over there where we had a pit bull get on another man’s dog and drowned it in a lake out there. It was a big attack there,” he added.

“That’s what this ordinance is trying to do where it won’t be a human being next time, and that way, we can try and control it.”

Added provisions would also ban all dogs from being tied up outside. The city of Okolona would require a pen or kennel should dog owners want to keep their pets outside.

It would help prevent any of them from roaming the city streets.

“It’s not working. They’ll tie them to a pole, then the dog will see something on the road, and they’ll go to jerking on the pole and the chain, and pole comes out of the ground and the dogs dragging them both down the road. That’s just not working,” McVay added.

Breaking the law could lead to a fine up to $500.

That fine could double and include time in jail if the violations involve vicious dogs.

Okolona City Council will have another month before its next meeting when they are expected to vote on this proposed ordinance.

http://www.wtva.com/news/local/story/Ordinance-draft-tougher-on-pit-bull-owners/98XR_IUnaEKy5qy9lplv4w.cspx

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