Back in March, we learned that the Panola County sheriff asked 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 the County. At that time, he advised the Board that he planned to get a copy of the Hinds County ordinance for the Board’s review. Its very important to note that 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. Despite this, it was unclear whether the Sheriff intended to pursue a breed specific ordinance, but a great deal of the discussion at March’s meeting did involve the topic of “pit bulls.”
At the Board meeting in May, the sheriff shared his proposed vicious dog ordinance with the county supervisors. The ordinance is reportedly patterned after similar laws throughout Mississippi, and the sheriff advised the Board that 27 counties and municipalities in the state have ordinances regulating “dangerous dog breeds.” However, neither the sheriff’s department officials or the county supervisors discussed the language in the proposed ordinance, so it is still not clear if the proposal is breed specific.
Residents of Panola County, MS: Please reach out to your officials and let them 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.
I find it a bit troubling that county officials are being so secretive about the language in the ordinance, and hopefully, the specific details on the proposal will be revealed at the June Board meeting. 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.
Previous alert for Panola County, MS: