Warren County Supervisors approve amended animal control ordinance

Published 3:00 pm Thursday, November 17, 2022

The Warren County Board of Supervisors voted on Nov. 7 to amend the county’s animal control ordinance to ensure that the district attorney and the county’s prosecuting attorney have the authority to pursue claims or enforce the actual ordinance and the Mississippi code that’s relevant to the ordinance.

“That’s what we’re trying to do, is get a little more clarity for enforcement,” said board attorney Blake Teller. “One of the issues is the question of whether the prosecuting attorney can pursue animal ordinance violations in justice court and county court. That’s been an issue for law enforcement and our prosecuting attorney.”

The amended ordinance, which was approved unanimously, states that any vicious domestic animal, such as a dog or cat, must be confined by their owners and not allowed to roam at large. The owner of such an animal shall post an appropriate sign on his or her property as a warning to the public.

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Any female domestic animal in heat shall likewise be confined so as not to come in contact with any domestic animal of the opposite sex, except for intentional breeding purposes.

A “dangerous or vicious animal” is defined in the ordinance as a cat or dog that attacks, chases or bites a person or that habitually attacks other domestic animals, livestock or poultry without provocation or attempts such actions, except if teased, tormented or abused or in defense of its owner or his property or his domestic animals, livestockĀ or poultry by a willful trespasser.

All domestic animals over three months of age are also required to be vaccinated for rabies, and it is the responsibility of the animal’s owner to display proof of vaccination on their animal’s collar. Animals also need a securely attached tag displaying their owners’ names, addresses and phone numbers.

Animals roaming free that are: dangerous or vicious, abused or neglected, females in heat or that bite a person are subject to impoundment by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and housed through the county’s contracted animal control agency, the Vicksburg-Warren Humane Society.

If the impounding official determines the domestic animal to be dangerous or vicious or a female in heat, the owner must warrant that such animal will be confined or vaccinated, respectively, before release.

A $50 deposit shall be required to ensure compliance; upon verification of confinement or vaccination, whichever is required or if both are required, the deposit will be returned to the owner.

A domestic animal that has been impounded may be released to the owner only upon payment of all fees and costs required by this ordinance.

If an impounded animal has not been claimed by the owner within five business days of its impoundment, it may be placed for adoption or destroyed pursuant to the policies and procedures of the Vicksburg-Warren Humane Society.

The following additional fees shall apply to the owners of any animals impounded for the reasons listed above:

  • First redemption within a calendar year: $25
  • Second redemption within a calendar year: $50
  • Third or subsequent redemption within a calendar year: $100
  • Per diem impoundment charge: $20 per day

There may also be fees incurred at the discretion of the Vicksburg-Warren Humane Society should the animal be placed under rabies confinement for observation.

Click here to view the complete amended animal control ordinance.