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  1. #1

    Default Ridgeland adopts dog ordinance and bans specific breeds

    Madison County,MS -- Gloria Grantham doesn't know how she'll bear having to part with one of her two pit bulls, Stormy and Star.

    She will have to remove one of her pets because of a new animal control ordinance adopted by the city of Ridgeland this week that bans pit bulls, Staffordshire bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers and wolf-dog hybrids but allows one banned dog per household if the dog existed prior to the adoption of the ordinance.

    "Now I've got to get rid of one of my babies. Which one am I supposed to choose?" said Grantham directly after the vote, tears streaming.

    "I can't get rid of Stormy. She's been through hell and back. I took her from an abused home."

    Following a public hearing Tuesday night, the Board of Aldermen voted 6-0 with one member absent to ban four specific dog breeds and any dog declared dangerous or vicious as defined by the ordinance.

    "It's not an easy decision, but we must look at the safety concerns," said Alderman Gerald Steen, who has been the most outspoken of the board members regarding breed specific legislation.

    Though certain breeds are technically not allowed in the city, a grandfather clause in the ordinance allows residents to keep one banned dog if housed in the city prior to the adoption of the ordinance as long as the dogs are not deemed dangerous or vicious and the owner, within 60 days from the effective date of the adoption of the ordinance, pays a $100 registration fee to the city, meets other national registration, training and enclosure requirements and agrees to unannounced inspections.

    Banned dog owners also have to prove that a proper identification chip has been implanted in the dog's ear.

    "If this is not done, it's a presumption that it's a dog newly brought into the city," said city attorney Jerry Mills.

    The ordinance goes into effect 30 days from its Tuesday adoption.

    While Rottweilers were originally among the banned breeds named in the ordinance, aldermen voted Tuesday to strike them from the list of banned dogs. That means Grantham won't have to get rid of her Rottweiler, Juvenile, whom she has owned for seven years and affectionately calls "Juvie."

    Pit bulls and Rottweilers have been banned in some other metro area cities. Ridgeland's new ordinance is loosely based on breed specific legislation in Clinton, Ridgeland city officials said.

    Per Ridgeland's new ordinance, if the city's animal control officers find that a resident is unlawfully harboring a banned dog, the violator could be fined up to $1,000 or imprisoned up to 90 days or both.

    A previous draft of the ordinance allowed up to three banned dogs, but aldermen voted Tuesday to limit households to one instead.

    "I think one is sufficient," said Alderman Chuck Gautier, adding that restricting owners to one banned dog would lessen the risk for attacks.

    Talk of prohibiting specific dog breeds in Ridgeland began last year when resident April Scott complained to the city about Grantham's dogs next door, calling them a danger and a nuisance.

    At the time, Gloria Grantham and her husband Pete housed four pit bulls, a Rottweiler and a Jack Russell terrier. The board has since ordered the couple to remove three of the dogs based on Scott's complaints. The Granthams' two pit bulls and the Rottweiler remain.

    The public hearing was crowded as residents have been anticipating this breed specific legislation for several months. Some spoke against the ban, while others, like Dinsmor Property Owners Association Board President Mike Smith supported the ban.

    "These are very dangerous animals, even to their owners," Smith said.

    Resident Lisa Key, who does not own a banned dog but opposed the ban, said she fears what will happen to all the dogs that will have to be removed under the new ordinance. Shelters are overcrowded as it is, she said.

    "What will happen to these dogs? These dogs are going to be euthanized."

    Dogs considered dangerous by some have been banned in other parts of the metro area.

    Clinton does not allow pit bulls nor Rottweilers. Pit bulls also are prohibited in Richland.

    Rankin County officials are tightening controls on pit bulls in the county by requiring registration with Rankin County's animal control office and limiting where the dogs can be housed.

    Mayor Gene McGee has said the new law does not punish responsible dog owners but instead takes dogs out of the hands of people who are attracted to certain breeds for malign reasons.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: Ridgeland adopts dog ordinance and bans specific breeds

    Just sad.... Thanks for posting Marty

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    South Carolina

    Default Re: Ridgeland adopts dog ordinance and bans specific breeds

    I contacted the writer of this story for info on who to contact on this mater. It's wrong to make people decide which member of their family they are willing to sacrifice.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Ridgeland adopts dog ordinance and bans specific breeds

    I'd really like to know how this ban "does not punish responsible dog owners" I think forcing someone to get rid of any of their pets based on breed instead of prior behavior is a punishment. And, many responsible owners own multiple dogs.

    Bans like this are becoming more and more prevalent and every time they use the same wording. This is HSUS 101.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    South Carolina

    Default Re: Ridgeland adopts dog ordinance and bans specific breeds

    Wow! All I got back from the writer was a "Thank you for your comment." No info on who to contact.


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