New ordinance puts teeth into DeSoto County animal control

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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.


  • Debby Sutherland

    It is very traumatic to come home from work and find your pet in pieces in your backyard because a neighbors dog climbed a fence. That could have been a small child or person my mother found in her yard. THIS won’t be enough DeSoto County. You need to put the dogs down that do this. I am an animal lover and have a dog and a bird but I am also a child lover. NO animal should be able to kill anything and get away with it if they are domesticated pets!!!!!!! I don’t care who owns it, what it is, or if it’s name is Buffy. If my dog killed another animal you can bet she would be put down. And the dog owners should be held completely responsible!

  • Ralph Noyes

    I remember reading recently about homeless dogs in Moscow that spend the nights in the suburbs and commute on the subway alongside human to the city center during the day to beg and find food.

    No violence, no hostility. Dogs get along just fine with the humans on the metro. Dogs know which stop to get off. Dogs are just extra passengers on the metro.

    Now, why would dogs in Memphis and Northern Mississippi exhibit such different and vicious cultural traits? Could it have something to do with the local human culture?

    Knowing how adapted dogs have become to humans over the past 25,000 years, I believe it does.

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