Tupelo, MS: BSL on tonight’s council agenda

An amendment to the Tupelo, Mississippi dangerous dog ordinance is on the city council’s action agenda today, Tuesday, May 1, 2012. The amendment would add rottweilers and dobermans to the list of “dangerous dogs.” The City of Tupelo already has regulations in place for “pit bulls” which include licensing, registering and securing permits. Owners of “pit bulls” must also post signage and meet confinement restrictions.

The city council meets at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall located at 71 East Troy Street. If you are in or around the Tupelo area, please make every effort to attend tonight’s meeting.

Previous alert for Tupelo can be found here:

Council barking out rules for breed owners

Reported by: Justin Lewis
Email: jlewis@wtva.com

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) — It’s a domino effect we’ve seen in several towns and cities in north Mississippi, and it looks like another one is set to fall.

Tupelo could be just a day away from passing a brand-new breed specific dangerous dog ordinance.

Pit bull terriers are once again at the forefront of a city ordinance. This time in Tupelo where Tuesday the city council expects to pass stricter regulations.

“Well we’ve certainly got to crack down on them as other towns have done,” said Tupelo City Council President Fred Pitts, who spoke out in favor of the ordinance.

“These other towns have cracked down on them, and people are moving to Tupelo and bringing animals because we haven’t been cracking down on it.”

Cracking down in the proposed ordinance consists of labeling pit bulls as dangerous dogs. It could now force owners to pay $80 annually to register their pet, and let’s not forget take out a $100,000 dollar insurance policy for it.

“To cover any attack that dog might do on someone else,” Pitts said.

Not everyone agrees it’s fair to single out a certain breed because it would be like convicting someone of a crime before they even stand trial.

“I think that’s a great injustice to the responsible owners of the targeted breed. They’re being penalized for being responsible owners,” said Tupelo veterinarian Stephen King.

King has been a consistent voice to the council about a vicious animal ordinance, but this isn’t what he had in mind.

“I mean if I was going to complain about it I need to have a choice, another option for them,” he added. “I’ve done that, they have not considered that at all. They would still rather continue with the breed specific.”

Pitts agreed they’re trying to do everything, but ban these animals.

“It’s hard to tell people that they can’t have something. It’s a right to have what you want to have, but at the same time there are guidelines you have to follow to do that,” he continued.

“If someone can’t get something insured then that’s all the more reason that they shouldn’t have it.”

“I think of it as an employer that doesn’t have the strength to fire an employee they just make the environment miserable,” King said.

If approved, fines for violations could range from $250 to $1,000 dollars for first offense.

If passed Tuesday evening the city would also employ a new animal control officer to oversee these new regulations.

http://www.wtva.com/news/local/story/Council-barking-out-rules-for-breed-owners/CTVrn47fQk2BrH8N5kMSGg.cspx

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