Jackson city leaders review dangerous dog ordinance - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson city leaders review dangerous dog ordinance

Roslyn Anderson - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) – The City of Jackson is taking a look at a breed specific dog ban.

Ordinances are already in effect in neighboring Clinton and Ridgeland.

The city's Rules Committee held a meeting Monday where they revisited the 2006 Dangerous Dog Ordinance.

Its chairman wants to strengthen the city law and include a ban of pit bulls.

The pit bull attack that claimed the life of a six-year-old Terry girl has prompted Jackson city leaders to re-examine its Dangerous Dog Ordinance.

Rules Committee Chairman Jeff Weill Sr. is trying to garner support for a ban specific breed targeting pit bulls.

Weill said many residents are terrorized by the dogs and afraid to walk in their neighborhoods because the animals are chained near the street and appear threatening.

"I don't want to be the next victim," said Pastor Willis Washington Jr.

Washington lives on Highland Drive and agrees with Weill.

He petitioned the committee to ban pit bulls.

"Since this dog has moved next door I go out to my storage shed in the back yard with an ax in my hand because again you don't know when they're gonna attack," said Washington.

"It is against the law to allow animals to molest passersby or passing vehicles," said JPD Deputy Chief Gerald Jones who oversees the 10 member Animal Control Unit.

Jones is working with the committee to strengthen the current ordinance.

He said there have been eight dog attacks since December, five of them were on humans.

Two of those attacks were by pit bull mix breeds.

"I do believe that pit bulls are dangerous; that's my sense. I think they should be banned," said Ward Two Councilman Chokwe Lumumba, one of three city representatives at the rules meeting.

 "I still continue to believe it is not the perfect solution that we've got to have a way to determine dangerous dogs both from a practical and a legal standpoint," said Ward Seven Councilwoman Margaret Barrett Simon.

Council members Weill, Lumumba and Stokes support a pit bull ban.

Bluntson, Tillman, Yarber and Barrett Simon oppose the breed specific ban.

"Unfortunately there's not a majority of the council that wants to ban specific breeds of dogs like pit bulls. So what we've try to do is figure out why we're having this problem and what exactly we need to do to make it better," said Weill.

The ward one councilman has asked the city's legal department to craft a pit bull ban ordinance to be submitted to the rules committee.

The chairman wants a review and if needed a rewording of that ban ordinance before sending it to the full council for vote.

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