Lafayette residents ask for dog ordinance

By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – Two residents told the Board of Supervisors about losing pets and livestock repeatedly to pit bull dogs that are allowed to run loose and asked for legislation that would reduce the risk.
“I don’t want to see zoning,” said Rob Freeman, “but in the past two-and-a-half years we have lost three miniature weinie dogs to a pit bull, 11 chickens to a pit bull.”
Recently, he said, the same animal came back and attacked his 125-pound Great Pyrenees.
“We bought the big dog because the pit bull kept killing our little dogs,” he said.
Freeman took pains not to indict all pit bull owners. He didn’t suggest a particular ordinance, acknowledging that breed-specific legislation is a political powderkeg, but offered copies of vicious-animal ordinances from several nearby counties and municipalities.
“I want us to be proactive instead of reactive,” he said.
Supervisor Mike Pickens said vicious dogs are just a part of life, noting that he and other county officials have been bitten while campaigning. He suggested that Freeman use the legal remedies already available.
“You can file a complaint through court,” he said. “It’s not the county’s responsibility to make laws on everybody that comes along.”
Jennifer Johnson said such measures haven’t been much help to her family.
“I did go the judicial route,” she said. “My neighbor had 17 pit bulls, and they have come onto our place and killed over 100 animals – ducks, chickens, cats and dogs. Our neighbors denied it. We filed a lawsuit and got a restraining order. Two weeks ago they came back and killed another (animal), and so we’re back in court.”
Freeman told supervisors, “I’ve got a problem, and I’m going to hold you responsible for helping solve it. If you don’t, I’m going to hold you accountable.”
errol.castens@journalinc.com