Vicious-animal law lacks 'teeth' - - Jackson, MS

Vicious-animal law lacks 'teeth'

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TERRY, MS (WLBT) - Hinds County authorities say there's no law with any teeth in it to prosecute the owner of a pit bull that killed a 6-year-old Terry girl Friday morning.

Gary Road Elementary student Anastasia Bingham was mauled to death in between her home and her friend's house next door. The attack occurred some time before 8 a.m. on Green Drive in Terry.

The pit bull was put in quarantine. The girl's family members say the dog was kept with a group of other pit bulls in a patch of woods nearby. The dog did not belong to Bingham's family.

It's unclear whether the animal was tethered and got loose, or was roaming free.

Several years ago, Hinds County strengthened its vicious dog ordinance, making it illegal for felons to own such animals, and requiring dangerous animals to be confined at all times.  The maximum penalty for violating the ordinance is 90 days in jail and a $3,000 fine. 

A state law, however, would carry more weight.

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