TPD likely will get its first animal-control officer

By Emily Le Coz

TUPELO – Tupelo Police Chief Tony Carleton wants to hire the department’s first dedicated animal-control officer to crack down on vicious dogs.

Carleton pitched the plan to the City Council during a Thursday afternoon work session at City Hall.

The position would cost $48,000 annually, plus nearly $25,000 in start-up costs, including training and equipment.

“It seemed like the humane society was struggling and couldn’t get enough done, couldn’t accomplish enough goals getting animals off the streets, especially vicious ones,” Carleton said. “So we can provide an officer who with arrest powers who can issue citations and can assist the humane society taking care of these type animals.”

The Tupelo-Lee Humane Society has one full-time animal control officer to patrol the entire city and respond to all calls.

Council members said they support the move and likely will vote soon to create the new position and budget the funds for it.