Our story started out as a look at the comprehensive animal control ordinance county supervisors say they'll pass next month. It will be the county's first such ordinance. And Wednesday we found out how the new law will help Deputy Donald Necaise deal with the difficult situation he came across north of Pass Christian.
Animal Control Officer Necaise initially responded to a call on Grace Drive. A homeowner there was worried about stray dogs chasing his cows. Just down the road Necaise and inmate worker Will Allison checked out two doghouses near a home under construction. They found five chained dogs and six young puppies. "We're gonna load the dogs up for their well being and safety...post the property let the property owner know we removed his animals because of the fact that they didn't have food and water."
The men loaded the animals up and headed off to the humane society. "With the extreme heat my concern was for the puppies and for the dogs as well."
Necaise says the county prosecutor will have to decide to file animal neglect charges against the owner. He says if the county had an ordinance, there would be no question. "Would be automatic. Our hands are tied. We don't have anything in the county right now that'll allow us by law to do anything for 'em as far as citin' 'em for any violations cause we don't have anything on the books in the county."
The humane society gets dozens of calls about animals in trouble, like the ones we saw. Director Pat Bushman says they have to tell the callers there's nothing they can do because there's no countywide animal control ordinance. That's why Bushman says she's glad the supervisors are moving forward to give animals in the county protection they don't have now.
The supervisors are expected to pass the ordinance on July 7th.