New ordinance puts teeth into DeSoto County animal control

LAKE CORMORANT, Miss. — Diane Moore says aggressive dogs running free have become a real problem in DeSoto County.

It hit home for her in the worst way a while back with some neighbors’ dogs.

”They ran loose and in no time we lost two of our small dogs. They were attacked by them and killed,” she said.

DeSoto Animal control officers showed up, but there was little they could do.

”Just being a ‘dog catcher’ so to say, kinda limits us on our ability,” said animal control officer Jason Patrick, who added he’s started getting more calls about aggressive animals.

The Moores’ story isn’t unusual in rural DeSoto County, and as more of these incidents happened, county leaders realized animal control officers weren’t well enough equipped to handle these situations.

So supervisors did their homework and came up with sweeping changes for animal control.

Before, animal control officers were mostly powerless, depending on official complaints from the public to start the court process. Now they can make their own complaints based on an animal’s actions and its living conditions.

They include giving officers the authority to take action on their own to start the court process, in much the same way sheriff’s deputies do.

Officers will also carry tasers to protect themselves and the public.

”With this new ordinance, it gives us more of the ability to step in and handle these situations,” Patrick said.

And that’s good news to Moore, who hopes to see officers take action against aggressive animals and help protect others that are mistreated.

”We’re very, very pleased that they DeSoto County Board of Supervisors took it upon themselves to have it reviewed and updated,” Moore said.

She says all she wants is peace and quiet, for herself and her dogs.



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