Louisiana Town Enforcing ‘Dangerous Dog’ Law – Dog Lovers React
Here in Louisiana, we love our dogs. The website World Population Review says that about 54% of Louisiana residents are pet owners and of that number, about 38% of residents say their pet of choice is a dog. Dogs are so much more than pets to a lot of people in the state. Many people use dogs as service animals and many regard their four-legged friends as members of their family.
However, like any animal humans included, dogs can turn vicious and be a threat to the safety and welfare of those around them. Usually, there are outstanding circumstances that cause a normally docile family pet to go into attack mode. However, some people feel, and many communities agree, that certain breeds of dogs are just too dangerous to live among people and neighborhoods.
Town officials in Baldwin in St Mary Parish say they are legally bound to uphold ordinances concerning "dangerous or vicious" animals. The town's ordinance was brought to light over the weekend after some Baldwin residents reported "an incident" with a pit bull.
To be clear, the Baldwin vicious animal ordinance is not new. It has been on the town's books since 1987 and it was revised in 2007. Police Chief Anthony Gibson told KATC television that he will uphold the law in the city of Baldwin. That means you must follow the town's ordinance which bans "dangerous and vicious" animals within the city limits.
Owners who don't relocate their animals are subject to a $500 fine after a warning. The dog's owner could also be subject to jail time too. As you might imagine many dog owners, especially owners of the breeds targeted by the ordinance do not agree that their dogs must go.
In case you're wondering, many communities have "dangerous and vicious animal" ordinances on their books. Some communities enforce those ordinances more vigorously than others. The town of Merryville in Beauregard Parish faced a similar issue back in December of 2022. That situation appears to have been settled by a meeting of the minds at a city council meeting.
Apparently, that's the same strategy that city fathers in Baldwin are hoping residents will take regarding the ordinance in their town too. Mayor Clarence Vappie told KATC that the town's council meets on the second Thursday of the month. The next scheduled meeting is May 11th and residents are encouraged to come and discuss the dog ordinance at that time.
Those wishing to express their views on the subject will need to submit a written statement to the mayor and city council ahead of the meeting. This way time can be allotted in the meeting for comments. In the meantime, Baldwin police say they will enforce the ordinance as it is written.
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