Plantersville leaders eye pit bull law

By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

PLANTERSVILLE – A tough, new pit bull ordinance rejected last week by Tupelo officials could be adopted here instead.
The Plantersville Board of Alderman reviewed the ordinance Tuesday, just hours after police killed a pit bull that had wandered onto Plantersville Middle School property and prompted a lockdown.
“I’ve drawn a line in the sand,” said Police Chief Maury Schuh. “Enough is enough. We’re going to end this pit bull situation.”
Plantersville currently has only a leash law with a maximum $35 penalty.
Schuh said that’s too weak and wants town leaders to adopt an ordinance Tupelo considered but failed to pass.
“It is a pretty thorough ordinance,” Plantersville attorney Kelly Mims told the board while offering his initial support.
“The best thing about it, it requires liability insurance by the owner.”
Mims requested more time to study the ordinance and make any necessary modifications before resubmitting it for board approval.
The ordinance requires owners of all dangerous pets – which pit bulls automatically are designated – to register them with the city and keep them confined at all times. It also sets a series of conditions before a permit is issued.
Among the conditions: Owners must be at least 21 years old, have their pet spayed or neutered, and carry a minimum $100,000 liability insurance on the animal.
Tupelo was poised to adopt the ordinance May 1, but it died when no one on the City Council brought up the issue for consideration.
Plantersville has struggled with a string of pit bull problems in recent months, including an April 17 incident when a pair of pit bulls broke into a home to reach a dog in heat.
The pit bulls killed the dog and terrorized a 16-year-old girl who was home at the time, according to a press release.
“We’ve had more trouble with pit bulls and pit bull mixes in Plantersville than anything else,” said Mayor Gloria Holland. “I wish I had the right answer, but I don’t know what it is.”
emily.lecoz@journalinc.com