(WMC) - Vicious dogs and other animals are often times a real problem for police and animal control officers, but now there's a new way to deal with those animals in DeSoto County.
The DeSoto County Animal Shelter is located on Humane Way, and now, animal control officers say they have a more humane way to control what they call "ornery animals."
"It gives us just another tool to be able to protect our self and protect the public," said Jason Patrick, Desoto County Animal Shelter assistant director.
Earlier this week, DeSoto County's Board of Supervisors gave final approval to a revised animal control ordinance.
Sheriff's deputies and animal control officers are now allowed to use stun guns to deal with animals they feel are threatening.
"Oh, I strongly agree with the ordinance. I think it's a great thing," DeSoto County resident Frankie Williams said.
Animal control officers say they're still allowed to carry firearms under state handgun laws. This new ordinance gives them a non-lethal method to help control dogs and other vicious animals.
"I think it's a certain line there. Of course, if a dog is growling at you, coming at you and you don't have any other choice and its a large animal, you have to do something to protect yourself," Williams continued.
Animal control officials say the use of the stun gun was encouraged because of liability reasons. Officers were trained to use the stun guns by DeSoto County deputies, who already use them.
"Lot of times, dogs end up being vicious out of fear more than anything else. Some are bred to be that way," Patrick explained.
In the past 10 years, animal control officers say they've only had to shoot one vicious dog, but they say they're excited about the new way to handle the situation.