October 13, 2014
Public outcry in Mississippi has put a stop to dogs being shot from the back of a city pickup. WLBT MSNEWS reported the story October 7.
Residents of Jackson were outraged last month when Animal Control officers began shooting stray dogs from the back of a city truck.
Jackson City leaders have changed the city animal ordinance, and will only shoot stray dogs if the officers are in danger of being attacked.
One Jackson resident witnessed the shooting death of a stray he had been feeding in the McCain Avenue area. Another resident went out to call her mixed breed back inside from a bathroom break near her Nimitz Street home. Unfortunately, Animal Control officers took it upon themselves to fire upon the dog before it could cross the street and return home.
Councilwoman Margaret Barrett Simon stated during an October 7 council meeting
“I think at the most poor judgment was used. We’ve put a moratorium on shooting animals right now, but as we look through it let’s take the time to get everyone involved to look at best practices throughout the country.”
Those measures by animal control have drawn outrage, although according to a Jackson city ordinances lethal force isn’t illegal.
The policy the city had been under was created back in the 1970’s and is considered outdated by 2014 standards. Jackson Police and Animal Control will work with city leaders to find a safe way to respond to stray and vicious dog calls while keeping the officers safe. Jackson Police Chief Lee Vance explained the action now being taken by his department
“We’re reviewing the ordinance. We’re reviewing the policies, and as of that shooting we won’t operate in that particular manner anymore.”
The officers who shot and killed the two dogs will not face any disciplinary actions, as they acted within the old city ordinance.
Officials say they want more humane treatment toward dogs running loose in the community. Time will tell whether this statement is true. As we all know, many police officers are spooked by family dogs and find it necessary to shoot and kill any dog as soon as a wagging tail is displayed.