Residents Raise Concern Over "Strays"

"My concern is that, that dog is going to bite me!" said Marelene Williams, talking about a loose dog in her neighborhood on Knight Parker Road in Meridian.

"He's already bitten my daughter...well, scratched her, and he's snapped at me," she said.

Williams says it has gotten to the point that she and those who live near her are scared to leave their homes.

"Last night he wouldn't let my daughter leave her house and he won't let me go there," Williams said.

While we were at Williams’ house, animal control officers tried to catch the dog but were unsuccessful after it ran into the woods.

Each day animal control officials say they get well over a dozen similar calls.

While many of the dogs might be strays outside the city limits, they say most in the city do have owners who allow the dogs to roam free, in violation of Meridian's leash law.

"You can either be arrested for this or an animal control officer can write you a citation," said Lauderdale County Animal Control director Dewayne Sosebee. "It can cost you, once you go to court, over $100 just for allowing your dog to run at large. We don't want to deprive anyone of enjoying their animal. They can take it off the leash if they're outside on their property."

Sosebee says residents should never befriend a stray or loose dog but instead, call his agency.

As for the loose dog on Knight Parker Road, animal control officials say it could take a bit more time to catch him.