Ocean Springs Mayor wants tougher laws on vicious dogs

By Patrice Clark – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - It didn't happen in her city, but Connie Moran says a pit bull attack shows why her city needs tougher animal laws. The Ocean Springs Mayor points to the incident Tuesday in the county when a man shot and killed a pitbull that charged some children. Moran says that's why the city needs a new vicious dog law.

Temarie Perry owns two pit bulls, including 8-year-old Sassy. She says her dogs never attack anyone because they're usually in the house or on a leash.

"I don't put them in a situation to where they get hurt or killed or hurt and kill someone else or something else," Temarie Perry said.

Perry says she is so upset about the incident Tuesday. A pit bull was shot after neighbors say the animal charged two children. She says dogs shouldn't be loose, and owners should be held responsible if something bad happens.

"Don't blame the breed, blame the deed. Blame what the person did, and go after the people."

Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran is aggressively working with the Board of Alderman to put stiffer laws on the books about vicious dogs in the city.

Mayor Moran says the current ordinance is vague.

"Right now it is so old, and as they go through the different ordnances, they have keep referring back to subsection so and so," Mayor Moran said.

The mayor says a new law would be transparent. Basically, all breeds that bite people will be punished and owners will be slapped with a hefty fine.

"It is a matter of public safety. It is their responsibility to contain their animal, make sure they're fenced in, enclosed, and muzzled."

Owners would also be required to register their dogs with the city.

"We want to make sure our citizens are safe."

Ocean Springs Police Department said in the past three years, there have 39 dog attacks in the city. The mayor says that's too many, and she's pushing to get a new law in enacted as soon as possible.

"A couple of weeks ago a man was running along East Beach. Although the pit bull was on a leash, the dog managed to get away and attacked him, and we just can't let this happen. We have to do something to strength our ordinance."

Mayor Moran is planning a meeting with other city leaders this week to discuss possible changes to the ordinance. She hopes leaders will adopt a new ordinance by next month.

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