DIXIE INN – The Village of Dixie Inn will begin enforcing a long-standing ordinance dealing with dangerous dogs and animal control on May 1.

Mayor Kay Stratton said they’ve had some incidences with loose dogs that have reportedly frightened residents, and it is time to begin enforcing the ordinance.

“It’s been on the books a long time,” she said. “It wasn’t being enforced, and it’s mostly about dangerous dogs, but it covers all animals. It’s mostly about dogs that are dangerous to children and adults. We had some incidences where dogs were out running loose scaring people.”

Ordinance 81B is an amendment to Ordinances 68, 80 and 81A and outlines the law on animals and how they are to be treated. The village mailed out letters to residents with an explanation, along with a copy of the ordinance.

“The letter I sent out was more of a clarification of each section of the ordinance,” Stratton said.

In the ordinance, it explains how animals are to be controlled, such as having a fence at a certain height and other stipulations.

“No dog should go unconfined in the village, pets are not to run loose in town,” the ordinance instructs. “A vicious dog is to be securely confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or structure on the premises of the owner…dogs must be restrained on a leash when not on the owner’s property. Dogs with a vicious propensity, when not on the owner’s premise, will be required to be restrained on a leash, securely muzzled and under physical restraint.”

“When this incident in the last week or so came up with the dog fighting, we just don’t want anything to happen out here,” Stratton said. “If something happens, they are going to come back to us and say, ‘Why isn’t the village enforcing its ordinance? Why don’t they make those people have those dogs in pens, meeting these qualifications?’ I don’t want to be part of that.”

The ordinance goes on to say:

The owner of a vicious dog shall in a prominent place on his premises a clearly visible sign indicating there is a vicious dog on the premises

No person, firm, corporation, organization or department shall possess or harbor or maintain care of any dog for the purpose of dog fighting, or train, torment, badger, bait or use any dog for the purpose of causing or encouraging the dog to attack human beings or domestic animals

No animal shall be restrained by a chain at any time. Animals may be placed on a run for exercise for no longer than one hour.
Penalties for the violation of the ordinance include a fine of up to $400, or 30 days in jail, or both.