Officials in Yalobusha County, Mississippi voted unanimously to enact a vicious dog ordinance at the Board of Supervisors meeting on November 20. The ordinance will go into effect on December 22, 2012. If you recall, the city attorney was asked to draft two ordinances – one breed specific and one breed neutral – for the Supervisors’ consideration.
The ordinance is not breed specific, and will regulate dogs deemed dangerous or potentially dangerous on a case-by-case basis in the unincorporated areas in Yalobusha. The ordinance also places responsibility on a dog owner prior to an actual problem occurring.
Enforcement of the ordinance will fall on the sheriff’s department, and officers will make an initial assessment on the dog based on specific criteria following a complaint. The new ordinance allows dog owners to request a hearing with supervisors if they disagree with the assessment made by the sheriff’s department. If the board affirms the sheriff’s department decision, the matter then can be appealed to circuit court.
Unfortunately, the new law is not an “at-large” ordinance, meaning dogs can still run loose “in the country.” Another odd provision is that if a dog is deemed dangerous, it is required to be vaccinated, which is something that should be required of ALL dogs.
The ordinance also identifies monetary penalties as well as the possibility of jail time for violators.
You can review the entire ordinance at this link: