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County adopts vicious dog ordinance

Reported by: Jessica Albert
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Updated: 12/17/2013 7:54 pm
OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA) -- Maureen Liberto-Sura is not a fan of man's best friend.

This is because she was bitten by a dog when she was younger.

"I'm still frightened by them," Liberto-Sura said. "I'm concerned not only about that but that poor innocent child."

She's talking about an attack that law enforcement said happened in southern Lafayette County last month where a nine-year-old girl was bitten by a dog while getting off a school bus.

Officials said she sustained severe injuries to her face and arm and had to undergo treatment at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis.

Now, the county has adopted a new vicious dog ordinance.

"I think it's really for the good," Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society Executive Director Jenn Petermann said.

Petermann describes a vicious dog as a dog who has the intent to do bodily harm on a person or another dog.

She will be working with law enforcement on these types of cases.

She said the county modeled their ordinance after those of surrounding counties.

"Of course, there will be a lot of in-between areas to work through right off the bat until we get a system down pat," Petermann said.

She says this is because each vicious dog incident will have to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

"It's not going to be a black and white situation," Petermann said. "There's going to be a lot of grey area. Because, probably, not every situation that arises is going to be like the one before it."

Citizens like Liberto-Sura are just happy that this ordinance is finally in place.

"I'm hoping that dogs like that will be contained," Liberto-Sura said, "which they should be so children will feel like they can roam as much as they want."
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