RIDGELAND, MS (WLBT) - The City of Ridgeland has adopted a breed-specific dog ban. Dangerous breeds have been identified while one popular breed will not be banned.
The Ridgeland city attorney and aldermen have been working on changes to the current animal control ordinance since November. Tuesday night the board of aldermen voted unanimously for the ban after making changes to it.
Citizens spoke out about changes to the current ordinance which would prohibit new pit bulls and other dangerous breeds before aldermen voted on the issue.
Gloria Grantham, whose neighbor April Scott accused her pit bulls of being a danger, prompted the controversial discussion and vote. She is among those opposed the breed specific ban.
"I do not like (people) fighting them," Grantham said. "That's the people that need to be punished -- not the dog -- because any dog is going do what they're trained to do."
Others applauded the board and voiced support for the ban.
"It's been a struggle to come up with something that will help the community and make it a safer community, and I'd like to say that I support your ordinance," said Elton Holloway.
The new ban will not include rottweillers. It does include American Pit Bulls, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Stafforshire Terriors and wolf-dog hybrids.
Current owners of banned dogs may keep one of them, but they must register the dog within 60 days, pay a $100 registration fee and undergo specific training.
"We want to be sure that those who live in the city and those who visit feel safe and also those folks who do have dogs that they are responsible for those dogs," said Mayor Gene McGee.
Violators will face up to 90 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. The ban takes effect in 30 days.