Lafayette board mulls dog ordinance

OXFORD – Lafayette County supervisors will meet with residents Thursday to hear concerns about free-running dogs in the county.
Supervisors mulled the issue at their regular monthly meeting on Monday. Board President Lloyd Oliphant had been quoted last week in the Oxford Eagle as saying he did not believe the board was ready to support a leash law, but District 1 Supervisor Mike Pickens disagreed.
“I’m not opposed to a leash law in the county. I’m not opposed to people’s being responsible for their own dogs,” Pickens said.
The Thursday meeting was requested by the Royal Oaks Homeowners Association but is open to any interested citizens. It will be at 6 p.m. at the Chancery Building.
While the homeowners group has its own concerns, the issue ramped up recently after two neighbors in a different area filed suit against New England Patriots linebacker Derrick Burgess, who lives in southeast Lafayette County.
The neighbors says some of Burgess’ pit bull terriers roam free, have killed their pets and poultry and have threatened themselves, their children and other neighbors.
Charles Becker Jr. lives near Burgess. He said he opposes a leash law even though he said an unrestrained canine attacked his own leashed dog when Becker and his dog were on a walk recently.
“You’re inviting certain types of people who maybe have a gripe against their neighbor or whatever to cause a lot of trouble, a lot of commotion in the justice court,” Becker told te board. “If my dog is bothering you and you can’t come and knock on my door, that’s a bad world.”
Pickens is usually the board’s most vocal proponent of restrained government but said in this issue, intervention may be justified.
“Not everybody’s going to do the right thing,” Pickens told Becker. “If they would, we wouldn’t need a speed limit posted on the side of the road.”
Cyd Dunlap, president of the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society, said some type of control is needed.
“I don’t think y’all are trying to pass a leash law, but a ‘keep your dog on your property’ law,” she told supervisors. “We get so many calls, and the sheriff’s department gets so many calls. The bad thing is going to be when one of those dogs gets a kid.”

Contact Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or errol.castens@djournal.com.

Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal