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Regional & National

Vicious dogs: Shelby Co. Commission committee approves 2 proposals

December 15th, 2011 2:03 pm by Staff Report

MEMPHIS (AP) — Proposals to more specifically define vicious dogs and set minimum care requirements for owning pets are moving through the Shelby County Commission.

A commission committee voted 6-1 in favor of the vicious dog plan and supported the minimum care proposal unanimously at a meeting on Wednesday, according to The Commercial Appeal (http://bit.ly/ruRWWc ).

The vicious dog proposal by Commissioner Steve Mulroy says a dog could be classified as dangerous if it kills a domestic animal outside of the owner's property. Other reasons would include attacking and injuring a person.

The ordinance now in force doesn't specify how an animal control officer should determine whether an animal is vicious.

During the discussion, Commissioner Terry Roland said one his dogs was attacked and killed by other dogs over the weekend.

"Could I go back after their dogs with this ordinance?" he asked.

Mulroy said had the proposal been in force, Roland could have.

The animal care proposal would specify minimum care required. The proposal would require pet owners to provide food and water daily to their pets.

Owners would also have to provide a shelter and protect pets against extremes in temperature.

Infractions would bring down a $50 fine.

Opponents of the measure have said it would infringe on pet owners' rights.

The measures would apply to unincorporated areas of Shelby County as well as in Arlington, Millington and Lakeland.

The full commission is expected to vote Monday on a first reading of the proposals.

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Information from: The Commercial Appeal, http://www.commercialappeal.com

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