City halts animal control stray dog shootings - - Jackson, MS

City halts animal control stray dog shootings

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Jackson City leaders have put a stop to firing on stray dogs unless the officers are in danger of being attacked. This comes after outrage by residents and animal activists and is prompting a change in city animal ordinances.

"All of a sudden there was a loud boom," said a west Jackson resident.

In late September he said he witnessed Animal Control officers shoot a stray dog that he had been feeding in the McCain Avenue area.

That same day another resident on nearby Nimitz Street also said she watched as her unleashed mixed breed was fired upon and killed.

"They could have just got out and picked him up. They shot him," said the woman who did not want to be identified."

Those measures by animal control have drawn outrage, although according to a Jackson city ordinances lethal force isn't illegal.

"I think at the most poor judgment was used," Councilwoman Margaret Barrett Simon told colleagues during Tuesday's meeting. The Ward 7 representative is among city leaders who agreed to put a stop to the practice.

"We've put a moratorium on shooting animals right now, but as we look through it let's take the time to get everyone involved to look at best practices throughout the country," added Barrett Simon.

"The policy that drove this is antiquated. It's unacceptable," said Mayor Tony Yarber. "It's not the way we do business in 2014. That being said, we will bring before this council recommendations to remedy so that that is not anything that we'll be operating under anymore."

The current ordinance dates back to the 1970's. Jackson Police and Animal Control will work with city leaders, who will amend the city law but will include provisions that will keep officers safe when responding to stray and vicious dog calls.

"We're reviewing the ordinance. We're reviewing the policies, and as of that shooting we won't operate in that particular manner anymore," said Jackson Police Chief Lee Vance.

Officials want more humane stray dog recovery efforts. Chief Vance said the Animal Control Officer who killed the dogs will not be reprimanded because his actions are permitted under city ordinances.

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