Join in the “bite” against dangerous animals

By John Laurence

About a month ago, an incredibly awful scene occurred between Cox and Oliver in Cooper-Young. While an owner was innocently walking her dog, two pit bulls from a nearby house escaped, one of which viscously mauled and killed her poor dog. Memphis authorities responded to this incident, and the dogs were taken away; however, the dogs were returned to the home shortly afterwards. Apparently the threat of this happening again is a very real one.

The Code of Ordinances for the City of Memphis states that the following criteria must be met concerning dangerous animals:

1. A proper enclosure to confine a dangerous/vicious animal and the posting of the premises with a clearly visible warning sign at all entry points, which informs both children and adults of a dangerous/vicious animal on the property or premises, which reads:

“Warning Dangerous/Vicious Dog.”

2. Leash and muzzle. No person shall permit a dangerous/vicious animal to go outside its kennel or pen unless such animal is outfitted with a choke or pinch collar and securely leashed with a substantial chain or leash no longer than four (4) feet in length.

3. Confinement indoors. No dangerous/vicious animal may be kept on a porch, patio, or in any part of a house or structure that would allow the animal to exit such building of its own volition. In addition, no such animal may be kept in a house or structure when any unbarred window is open or when any screened window or screen door is the only obstacle preventing the animal from exiting the structure.

This heartbreaking situation occurred because these ordinances were not met. Although there is a small sign hanging from the mailbox of the house with the pit bulls, it is not clearly visible, and neighbors have noticed that the security doors on the house are frequently left open. Many authorities have been called to help in this situation, including Mayor Wharton, but much needs to be done to ensure the safety of anyone that may walk by the house at any given time. When you are walking outside, be it with your dog or by yourself, please think of this incident and be aware of your surroundings. If you notice something suspicious, please don’t hesitate to call the police (545-COPS). There are many animal lovers in CY, and everyone wants to ensure the safety of other animals and people in the neighborhood is never jeopardized. This should not happen again.

For more information about how to get involved in this matter or what to do if you suspect a dangerous animal situation, please contact Animal Services at 901-362-5310.

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