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Yalobusha Dog Ordinance

ORDINANCE OF YALOBUSHA COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI
REGULATING OWNERSHIP OF DANGEROUS AND
POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS DOGS

    WHEREAS, Yalobusha County, Mississippi (County), has undertaken to establish this Ordinance to protect and promote the public health and safety of its citizens  from dogs classified as dangerous and potentially dangerous; and,
    WHEREAS, dangerous dogs and potentially dangerous dogs have a greater propensity to injure or harm human beings and domesticated animals.
    THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF YALOBUSHA COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI, AS FOLLOWS:
Section I: Definitions.  As used in this Ordinance, the following terms shall apply:
    a.“Potentially dangerous dog” shall mean: any dog with a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack unprovoked, to cause injury to or to otherwise endanger the safety of humans or domestic animals.
    b. “Dangerous dog” shall mean any dog which:
       1)demonstrates behavior and/or possesses the vicious propensity to inflict serious bodily injury or death upon a human being and/or domestic animals and constitutes a danger to human life or domestic animals; or,
       2) has behaved in such a manner that the owner knows, or reasonably should know, that the dog is possessed of tendencies to commit unprovoked attack or to injure human beings or other domestic animals; or,
       3) has been certified by a doctor of veterinary medicine, after observation thereof, as posing a danger to human beings or domestic animals; or,
       4) without provocation, bites or assaults a human or domestic animal; or,
       5) commits an unprovoked act that causes a person acting in a reasonable and non-aggressive manner to reasonably believe that the dog will attack and cause bodily injury to that person or animal.
    c.“owner” shall mean any person, 18 years of age or older, or other entity that harbors, shelters, keeps, controls, or possesses a dog.   A dog is deemed to be harbored if it is fed or sheltered for twenty-four (24) hours or more.
    d.“impound” shall mean taken into custody by the Sheriff of Yalobusha County, Mississippi.
    e.“injury” shall mean any physical injury that requires medical treatment or causes pain.
    f. “proper enclosure” means secure confinement indoors or secure confinement in a locked pen, fenced yard or structure measuring at least 6 feet in width, 12 feet in length and 6 feet in height and capped if the dog can climb the fence, with secure sides and suitable to prevent the entry of children and designed to prevent the dog from escaping while enclosed therein.
    g.“restraint” shall mean when an animal is secured by a leash or lead of less than six (6) feet.
    h.“Sheriff’s Office” shall mean the Sheriff of Yalobusha County, Mississippi, or any deputy thereof.
Section II. Determination of a Potentially Dangerous Dog.
    a. Within 3 days after the Sheriff’s office receives a complaint that a dog is a potentially dangerous dog as defined in Section I(a) herein, the Sheriff’s office shall conduct an investigation to determine if a dog is a potentially dangerous dog.  If the Sheriff’s Office determines that the dog falls within such definition, then the Sheriff’s office shall notify owner in writing by certified mail or by hand delivery within five (5) days of such determination and classification.  After the owner receives notice, the Sheriff’s office may impound the dog until the owner fulfills the registration, vaccination and enclosure requirements in Section VII.  If the owner desires a review of the Sheriff’s office classification and/or decision to impound, then the owner may seek a review of such decision with the Board of Supervisors of Yalobusha County, Mississippi, by filing a written request with the Clerk of the Board within five (5) days of the Sheriff’s office decision.  At such review hearing, the Board of Supervisors shall review the findings of the Sheriff’s office and either confirm or reverse the decision.
Section III. Determination of a Dangerous Dog.
    a. Within 3 days after the Sheriff’s office receives a complaint that a dog is a dangerous dog as defined in Section I(b) herein, the Sheriff’s office shall conduct an investigation  to determine if the dog is a dangerous dog.  If the Sheriff’s office determines that the dog falls within such definition, the Sheriff’s office shall notify the owner in writing by certified mail or by hand delivery within 5 days of determination.  After owner receives notice, the Sheriff’s office shall impound dog until owner fulfills the registration, vaccination and enclosure requirements in Section VII.     If owner desires a review of the Sheriff’s office classification and/or decision to impound, then owner may seek a review of such decision with the Board of Supervisors of Yalobusha County, Mississippi, by filing a written request with the Clerk of the Board within five (5) days of the Sheriff’s office decision.  At such review hearing, the Board of Supervisors  shall review the findings of the Sheriff’s office and either confirm or reverse the decision.
Section IV. Exceptions.
    No dog shall be declared a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog if:
    a. The dog was used by a law enforcement official for legitimate law enforcement purposes; or,
    b. The threat, injury or damage was sustained by a person:
       1)who was committing, at the time, a willful trespass or other  tort upon premises lawfully occupied by the owner of the dog; or,
       2) who was provoking, tormenting, abusing or assaulting the dog or who can be shown to have repeatedly, in the past, provoked, tormented, abused or assaulted the dog; or,
       3) who was committing, or attempting to commit, a crime on the owner or upon the real property of the owner; or
    c.The dog was:
       1) responding to pain or injury; or,
       2) protecting itself or its offspring; or,
       3)  protecting or defending a human being within the immediate vicinity of the dog from an attack or assault.
Section V.  Consequences of the Determination of a Potentially Dangerous Dog.
    a. If the Sheriff determines that a dog is a potentially dangerous dog as defined in Section I(a), the owner shall comply with the provisions of Section VII herein and the Sheriff may impound the dog until the owner has satisfied the requirements of Section VII herein.
Section VI. Consequences of the Determination of a Dangerous Dog.
    a. If the Sheriff determines that a dog is a dangerous dog as defined in Section I(b), the owner shall comply with the provisions of Section VII herein and the Sheriff shall immediately impound the dog until the owner has satisfied the requirements of Section VII herein.        Notwithstanding, anything to the contrary herein, where any         dangerous dog, in the judgment of the Sheriff’s office, poses a serious and immediate threat of serious harm or injury to human life, it shall be the lawful duty of the Sheriff’s office to kill such animal without requiring the Sheriff’s office to catch, restrain or impound such dog.
Section VII. Requirements of Owner after Receiving Notice of Determination if
    Dog is Classified as a Dangerous or Potentially Dangerous Dog.
    a. Upon receipt by the owner of notice from the Sheriff’s Office that a dog is a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog, the owner shall:
       1) construct or provide a proper enclosure within the confines of the property of the owner; and,       2) if the dog has not been vaccinated against rabies, the owner shall have the dog vaccinated at the cost of the owner; and,
       3) obtain a registration certificate from the Sheriff’s office and annually thereafter, for the sum of $50.00.
Section VIII. Impoundment
    a. Any dog impounded by the Sheriff’s Office shall be sheltered by the Sheriff or at such place as may be contracted by Yalobusha County;
    b. Any dog impounded shall be held at the aforementioned shelter for a period of not more than 7 days after the owner is notified in writing by certified mail or written notice by hand delivery of such impoundment.  If the identity of the owner cannot be determined then a notice of such impoundment shall be posted at the Sheriff’s office.  If the dog is not claimed within 7 days of the date when the owner receives written notice of such impoundment or within 7 days of posting, the dog shall be euthanized.
    c. All expenses incurred by Yalobusha County regarding impoundment, including food and medical attention, shall be paid by the owner upon reclaiming the dog.
Section IX. Reclaiming Dog by Owner.
    a. After the Sheriff’s Office has determined that the owner satisfied the requirements of Section VII, the owner may reclaim the impounded dog upon paying any expenses incurred by the Sheriff’s office.  Reclaiming by the owner must occur within the time period specified in Section VIII(b).
Section X. Enforcement.
    a. It shall be unlawful for any owner or person to possess, keep or harbor any dangerous or potentially dangerous dog outside a proper enclosure, unless the dog is securely restrained by leash or caged and under physical control by the owner.
    b. If any such dog escapes from its proper enclosure or restraint, then the owner shall immediately notify the Sheriff.  It shall be unlawful for any owner to not notify the Sheriff of such escape.
    c. It shall be unlawful for any owner to fail or refuse to annually register with the Sheriff’s Office any dangerous or potentially dangerous dog.
    d. It shall be unlawful for any owner to fail to properly vaccinate against rabies any dangerous or potentially dangerous dog; and,
    e. It shall be unlawful for any owner or person to interfere with the Sheriff’s office in the performance of his official duties as set forth herein which include, but is not limited to, providing the Sheriff’s office with false information, and taking or attempting to take any dog from the Sheriff’s office.
Section XI. Penalties
    The penalty for violation of this Ordinance is:
    First Offense: not  more than 10 days in jail and/or a fine of not less than $100.00, nor more than $200.00;
    Second Offense: not less than 15 days in jail, nor more than 30 days in jail and a fine of not less than $200.00 nor more than $500.00, and removal of the dog from the jurisdiction of Yalobusha County;
    Third Offense: not less than 30 days in jail  nor more than 60 days in jail, and a fine of not less than $1000.00 nor more than $2,000.00 and removal of the dog from the jurisdiction of Yalobusha County, Mississippi.
Section XII. Severability.  
    If any part of this Ordinance shall be held invalid, such part shall be deemed severable and the invalidity thereof shall not affect the remaining part of this Ordinance.
Section XIII. Effective Date and Area.   
    This Ordinance shall become effective on December 20, 2012,  and shall only affect the unincorporated area of Yalobusha County, Mississippi.
    The above and foregoing Ordinance was introduced by Supervisor Lee McMinn  who moved its adoption.  Supervisor Tommy Vaughn seconded the motion to adopt the Ordinance, the Ordinance was thereafter read section by section by the Clerk of the Board, and the question being put to a roll call vote, the result was as follows:
Supervisor Tommy Vaughn voted aye
Supervisor Amos Sims voted aye
Supervisor Lee McMinn voted aye
Supervisor George Suggs voted aye
Supervisor Frank J. Tillman voted aye
    The question having received the affirmative vote of all the Supervisors present and voting, the President declared the motion carried and Ordinance adopted and approved this the 20th  day of November,  2012.
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
YALOBUSHA COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI
BY:/s/ Tommy Vaughn         TOMMY VAUGHN, PRESIDENT
ATTEST:
/s/ Amy F. McMinn
AMY F. MCMINN,
CLERK OF THE BOARD

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