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Tougher Vicious Dog Bill Proposed

Reporter: Jon Kalahar
Email Address: [email protected] net

An unprovoked dog attack could put the dog and its owner behind bars, if a new House bill is passed in Mississippi. It would require that dog owners properly restrain any animal they think might be a problem.

Hinds County developed a tougher vicious animal law after the attack. Now they hope to take it statewide.

House Bill 1364 increases fines and jail time against owners of vicious animals who attack people unprovoked. But for Rep. Jim Ellington of Jackson, who authored the bill, it will rely on the public.

"We would think the general public would help police and report that, so you don't have the animal control people just out, 'I'm going looking for dogs today'; that wouldn't happen," said Ellington.

But what the bill does do is give more authority to law enforcement. Officers will be allowed to shoot an animal if it is not properly confined, has no collar or vaccination tags, cannot be peacefully captured and law enforcement fears for their own or the public's safety.

Full text of HB1364

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