Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Vicious animal crackdown in Verona

By Kalisha Whitman, WTVA

Lots of residents report seeing dangerous animals roaming neighborhoods, but that should not be a problem anymore. The Verona Police Department is picking the animals up and taking them off the streets.

A pit bull - that was picked up in Verona and taken to the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society - was barking and showing aggression towards the pit bull in the adjacent cage.

That same barking and aggression is the reason Jean Shumpert, a resident of Verona, was scared to simply sit on her porch and relax or take a walk with her husband.

"It's dangerous. [The dogs are] just loose running around. A small child or somebody just running around they would just attack them," Shumpert said. "We need to be aware that these dogs are running around loose."

Shumpert is not the only concerned resident. Latia Smith noticed it too. Smith said she does not want the animals to come near her toddler.

"If I see a dog that I don't know anything about, I try to wait until it goes away. I wouldn't want to get attacked with the baby," Smith said. "It'll be hard to fight 'em off and try to keep the baby safe."

Now, Shumpert does not have to worry, and Smith will not have to fight. The vicious dogs are making their way out of Verona and to the humane society.

WTVA News went to the humane society to check on the dogs. One room housed 10 of the almost 20 dogs the Verona police Department picked up. Leo Mask, Verona's police chief, said he expects to bring more dogs to the humane society in the coming days.

"We don't want to see any one get bit by a pit or any other dog. Pits are not the only dogs that we're focusing on," Mask said.

Shumpert said she is glad the city is enforcing the ordinance.

"It is a great thing that they have picked up as many as they have," she said. "I am proud that they are watching out for the dogs around here."

Any animal that attacks carries the vicious label. To have an animal of that nature, it must be in an enclosed area with four feet of fencing, a solid foundation and a lock to keep in the animal. You can also keep it inside the home. In order for the animal to roam, it must be muzzled and on a leash.

Verona adopted the vicious dog ordinance in 2006.

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