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County Could Address Vicious Dogs

By David Howell

COFFEEVILLE – A complaint about a vicious dog in the county prompted Yalobusha supervisors to instruct  Board Attorney John Crow to research options for a vicious dog ordinance in the county.

    Reading from a prepared statement, Judy Perkins told county officials that a neighbor’s pit bull dogs have caused fear for her family’s safety. Perkins alleged that her neighbor’s dogs have tried to bite them when they went to get their mail or carry out the garbage. Perkins also said she feared the dogs could injure her pets or even her grandchildren.

    “I called a law officer who advised unless the dogs attack us, there is nothing we can do… I cannot understand why someone has to be hurt or maimed before something is done,” Perkins told county officials.

    “I do not understand why some kind of law is not already in effect,” Judy Perkins, who was accompanied by her husband, John, added.

    Board President Amos Sims was the first to respond to the Perkins’ plea, telling the couple that he was familiar with the problem dogs.

    “This is directly across from my county shop. There have been several people who have voiced concern about this issue,” Sims said.

    “One of your workers down there sat there and waited to see if that dog would bite me,” John Perkins said.

    “I have instructed my guys, if this dogs comes over there and growls at us, he won’t get back,” Sims said. “I share your concern.”

    “I think the whole county is affected, not just my area,” John Perkins added.     “The city has got rules on this thing,” he continued.

    District Three Supervisor M.H. “Butch” Surrette cautioned about over-reacting to dog problems in the county.

    “A leash law reaches pretty far. You have to keep everything on a leash. That gets into your hunting dogs. You have to be real careful about this. It is a lot of difference being in the county and the city, as far as a leash law,” Surrette explained.

    “I understand that,” John Perkins said.

    “I could tell you what to do with that dog,” Surrette added.

    John Perkins then explained that he would have no problem defending his family, but he was trying to avoid ending up in court.

    Board Attorney John Crow explained that the county does not have any restrictions on pets, as far as a leash law or aggressive dog ordinance.

    Crow added Coffeeville has a very aggressive  dog ordinance that is up-to-date while the City of Water Valley is currently reviewing its ordinance.

    “There is a big difference between cities and counties because the sheer number of people that are concentrated together,” Crow continued.        State statutes do allow a person to protect themselves if they reasonably believe they are about to be harmed, Crow also advised.

    “No person should be in fear of their life on their own property because of an aggressive dog. I would agree with what Butch said a while ago, I would take care of it, but everybody doesn’t want to kill an animal,” District 1 Supervisor Vaughn said.

    “Would y’all be in favor of letting John start the the process of trying to put something together?” Sims asked.

    “I am already up on it,” Crow added, referring to his working preparing to update the Water Valley dog ordinance.

    Following a verbal go-ahead, Crow said he would come back and advise the board what they can and cannot do in regards to an aggressive dog ordinance.

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