Ordinance would define vicious dogs, protect pets

(WMC-TV) - Some Mid-South leaders are working to define vicious dogs.

Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy is the sponsor of two ordinances that would protect pets and deal with vicious dogs.

"We're not talking about pampering animals," said Mulroy.  "We're saying feed them once a day, water them once a day, give them a couple of feet to walk around in, don't let them lie in their own filth."

One disturbing new practice is called trunking, where dogs fight until one is dead.

"Apparently what they're doing is they're taking two dogs, putting them in the trunk of the car," said Karen Rudolph with the Memphis Police Department.

Mulroy said cruelty officers found instances of neglect and abuse that did not meet the level of state law, so those cases are not being prosecuted.   

There is also a provision in one of the ordinances that allows a judge to require a microchip be placed in a dog that is deemed vicious.  It must then be fenced in with a sign saying it is vicious.

A judge can also order a vicious dog be put down.  There is a $50 fine for each violation.

The full commission is scheduled to vote in the first reading on the ordinances on Monday.

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