Panola County Sheriff Dennis Darby is asking the Board of Supervisors to work with him to pass a dangerous dog ordinance because his department has responded to numerous calls in several cities within Panola County. He advised the Board that he plans to get a copy of the Hinds County ordinance for the Board to review. PLEASE NOTE: The ordinance in Hinds County, which was passed in 2010, targets “pit bulls,” and owners must obtain a permit from the sheriff’s department and have liability insurance. It is unclear, however, from the discussion during the meeting whether the Sheriff intends to push for a breed specific ordinance or not, but a great deal of the discussion did involve the topic of “pit bulls.”
Any ordinance approved by the Board of Supervisors would apply to unincorporated Panola County, which falls outside the city limits of Batesville and other municipalities.
County officials will meet to discuss a vicious dog ordinance, but a date for that meeting has not been set, and it is not on next week’s agenda. The meeting will include a deputy who has attended training sessions on “the issue,” as well as representatives from the Humane Society and local insurance companies.
Residents of Panola County: Please reach out to your officials NOW, before an ordinance is drafted and proposed. Let your officials know you support their efforts to create safer communities within the county, and that a breed-neutral ordinance that focuses on irresponsible and reckless owners is the only way to accomplish that goal.
Until the officials meet again on this issue, we will not know any of the specifics of this ordinance. That being said, if you live in Panola County, please open the lines of communication with your elected officials. Offer your assistance and suggestions. Provide them with educational materials and breed-neutral ordinances for their consideration, and take an active role in creating a strong and effective ordinance for your community.