Breed-Specific Dog Ban Passed - - Jackson, MS

Clinton 07/24/06

Breed-Specific Dog Ban Passed

By David Kenney  

Some dog owners in Clinton are on notice that their pets would no longer be legal within the city limits.

Clinton city leaders have passed an ordinance banning certain breeds of vicious dogs, after complaints and concerns about pit-bull attacks.

Clinton is targeting two specific breeds: any dog commonly referred to as a 'pit bull' or a 'rottweiler' is now banned from being kept in the city limits.

The Community Animal Rescue and Adoption center has been swamped with calls from pit-bull and rottweiler owners looking for new homes for their pets.

"We've got a lot of phone calls from a lot of the public," says CARA manager Janet Madden. "They're irate. They don't know what to do (with) their family pet they had for years. They woke up one morning, opened up the paper, and there it is -- they need to move or get rid of their beloved pet."

Any vicious dog found at large would also count as a violation of the ordinance.

For many Clinton residents, the word vicious doesn't necessarily describe a certain breed, which is why some have problems with this new law.

"These cases we have where we do have dog bites and animial attacks," says Ben Duncan of Clinton. "it's people who own them who aren't responsible enough owners with these dogs."

Pit-bull and rotweiller owners in Clinton have four weeks to find new homes for their pets. Many animal shelters say they're full, and can't offer temporary assistance.

"You can't buy a house in thirty days in most places," says Madden. "It is very disruptive, and to lump a breed and say they're all that way, that's not true."

Many owners of the now-banned dogs say they don't know what to do. They don't want to give up their pets, and they don't want to move.

The cities of Brandon and Richland have also recently passed ordinances banning pit bulls.

The city of Jackson has an ordinance banning visious dogs, but it is not breed-specific.

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