Mississippi’s Adams County tries a new way to handle dangerous dogs

In a city called Natchez there have been problems with dogs. Not just dogs pooping on other people’s lawns, but big, mean, dogs roaming around and keeping children from being able to play out side. Parents make phone calls and complain, but if the dog isn’t a stray then it can’t be picked up by animal control.

Apparently there are a few outspoken dog owners who don’t want leash laws and so they came up with this law instead: animals who have been reported, if deemed an immediate threat can be impounded without an affidavit at the owners expense. Once the dog is impounded they will determine if it is a threat or not (I really hope they have someone who knows what they are doing for this). If the dog isn’t a threat it can be reclaimed for the price of its boarding fee plus a $25 charge for the first offense and a $50 charge for the second offense. If the dog is considered to be a threat a hearing will take place. The judge can then decide if the animal needs to be euthanized, at the expense of the owner, or if it can’t leave the owner’s property unless the dog is in a secure cage or is muzzled, and tack on a fee of up to $500. If the dog owner violates the terms  they can be charged up to $1000 and risk being put in jail.

To make it a little more clear on what a dangerous dog is they include these statements: “A domestic dog is considered dangerous if the dog attacks, threatens to attack or has a known tendency to attack people or another animal without being provoked. A dog that is determined to be harbored for the intent of dog fighting is also considered dangerous. A domestic dog is not dangerous if it inflicts injury on a person who is trespassing or being teased, abused or assaulted by a person or animal. The dog is also not dangerous if it is acting to protect a person from an unjustified attack. A police dog will also not be considered a dangerous dog.”
http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/news/2010/jun/24/adams-county-officials-explain-new-dog-ordinance/

Do you think that this is good way to determine if a dog is dangerous or not? Is it right for a dog to attack someone who is trespassing?

Dangerous Dog
This new breed of Caucasian Shepherd is a very popular guard dog in China. According to Wikipedia "They are probably the most aggressive natural guard dog bred in domesticity and truly second to none in bellicosity towards strangers."
I recently talked with a neighbor who had protection trained dogs. He said that once dogs are trained to bite they know what they are capable of and automatically learn to inhibit themselves. Most dogs learn some bite inhibition as puppies. When puppies play together they have to be very gentle because their teeth are sharp; if they hurt their playmate with their teeth, their playmate wont play with them anymore. In my mind a protection trained dog is typically very obedient and will obey commands even when highly aroused. How many of us can say that we can call our dogs away from chasing a squirrel? But what about protection dogs that aren’t trained? Dogs that wont let strangers on the property? What about owners who say “Don’t worry, he wont bite.”?

What is the real problem here?  We know that people enjoy having powerful dogs for a multitude of reasons but why aren’t they being trained?   Containment wouldn’t be an issue if the dog was well behaved.  Will putting these people in jail really going to help the cause? What would be a better solution?  Do we even have this problem in north Idaho?

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