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Supervisors seek public input for animal law draft

September 11, 2011

By CARL SMITH
sdnnews@bellsouth.net

Oktibbeha County supervisors will hold a public hearing regarding the development of a countywide vicious animal ordinance at 10 a.m. tomorrow in the Oktibbeha County Courthouse.
Last week, Board President Marvell Howard said a draft of the ordinance was close to completion and supervisors should vote on the matter in the board’s Thursday recess meeting.
“We intentionally haven’t finished it so we can get input during the public hearing,” Howard said last week. “Unless major changes need to take place after we receive public input, I think we should be ready to move forward.”
County supervisors have not released many details about the pending law, but they said it will include language which will define what constitutes a vicious animal, language which includes aggressive behavior and attacks.
District 2 Supervisor Orlando Trainer said the ordinance would put more responsibility upon owners of vicious animals. The county could enter into a working relationship with Starkville Animal Control, he said, in order to lessen the burden placed upon the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office.
Supervisors have discussed the need for a vicious animal ordinance since an Aug. 13 mauling injured two children.
A deputy shot and killed a pit bull which approached him in an aggressive manner after the attack. Rich McKee, a member of Starkville Animal Control, was dispatched to the scene and took custody of four other pit bulls.
Three of the captured pit bulls were euthanized last week, Chief Deputy George Carrithers said, and the fourth could also be euthanized following hearings.

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