Resident Objects to Shooting of Dog

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

A resident of the Lauderdale community says she's upset about the shooting of a stray dog by Animal Control.

Officials with Lauderdale County's Animal Control say they are just doing their job, trying to enforce a county-wide dog ordinance.

The shooting of the dog happened at a garbage dumpster site in Lauderdale, which has become a hang out for stray animals and also pets with collars who live nearby.

"We have to clean the dumpster sites up," said Animal Control director Dewayne Sosebee.

And in this case, Sosebee says catching and removing the animals has become necessary. But when one dog couldn't be caught Tuesday, he had to euthanize it in the field, which has at least one local resident extremely angry.

"They have no right to shoot these dogs brains out, that are not viciously attacking anyone," said Donna Kay Hill Cook, who lives nearby.

But Sosebee says it's his job. Field euthanasia, he says, is only a last resort and something he hates to do. But he says the county can't allow the animals to roam the area creating liability concerns. Typically, Sosebee said he tries to catch the animals by hand. Next he'll use traps. But none of that worked Tuesday.

"We couldn't catch her. She has been here for a while and has had several litters here," said Sosebee. "She has been causing problems."

The dumpster sites are located all over the county. But this particular site is in the district overseen by supervisor Wayman Newell. He said he supports animal control, noting the liability and filth.

"You've got fleas, nastiness. It is unsanitary," said Newell. "When people dump food and it's not eat up, you get flies that can cause a lot of disease with it."

One of the biggest problems is that people, out of the kindness of their hearts, bring dog food for the stray animals but Sosebee says it only creates a bigger problem.

In fact, Friday evening, several men put out some canned dog food, which the strays immediately ran to eat. Sosebee asked the men not to bring it in the future.

"We just can't let them continue to multiply," said Sosebee.

"They need to set up cameras and catch people who are doing it," Cook said, referring to people who dump animals there.

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  • by Ashley on Aug 14, 2009 at 11:48 AM
    If you have information about other dogs in the area who have been treated the same way (especially if they are by the same man), PLEASE call and leave your information at (301)258-3055.
  • by Anonymous Location: Lauderdale County on Aug 12, 2009 at 02:58 PM
    Maurice-have you ever thought that some of these "strays" that you take target practice on, may actually be lost pets? Have you bothered to take them to the vet to see if they have a microchip? Statistics show that most pets that go missing WITH a collar are not found with it (i.e it was taken off or some how fell off). While speaking of microchips-does AC check to see if their is a microchip? Oh wait-that would require them to do a little work. I believe that anyone who has ever visited our wonderful AC, has seen the Welcoming reception you receive there. The problem is not just Sosebee, but a majority of the staff as well. I have visited them several times over the years and have always felt unwelcomed and that I had bothered them. If these people are so unhappy with their jobs-find another one. If not-at least be semi descent to the people that come to adopt.
  • by Julie Location: Lauderdale on Aug 11, 2009 at 08:22 PM
    A couple of years ago, I asked Mr.Sosebee for his help in catching a dog at Winn Dixie. He said "M'am we get hundreds of calls a day about this dog, we may have to shoot him." I asked for a trap to bring him to my home. He said that's not an option. He told me it was people like me feeding him why they couldn't catch him. I never saw them out there. I was feeding him 4 times a day and finally got him home, and has been with me happily for over 3 years. This man is a monster. Supposingly he will euthanize dogs that the humane society has called to adopt. Those are the words from humane society. He is a MONSTER. I urge everyone not to take animals to the pound. They are better off trying to survive on their own, to the best of their ability. It isn't their fault. We as human beings need to do our part in trying to help in this situation. And obviously need go above everyone's head here in Meridian. A bunch of rednecks think just shoot them to solve the problem. Very uneducated
  • by Maurice on Aug 11, 2009 at 05:19 AM
    I have 3 dogs that are treated like members of the family. That said, if a stray dog wanders into my yard, I will try to run him off. If I cannot get it to leave I will shoot it myself. I do not need some mangey mut passing on fleas, ticks and diesease to my healthy, well loved and cared for dogs. Living in the county I found out animal control or the humane society will not respond to strays. So it's shoo or shoot at may house.
  • by CM Location: Lauderdale on Aug 10, 2009 at 11:54 PM
    To take responsibility for an animal then to allow that animal to be abused, neglected or homeless you then become irresponsible. But for a system of government or an organization founded and/or funded for the control and preservation of animal welfare and society's protection to allow animals to be sent back out into the community unaltered to produce more offspring after spending tax dollars to catch, house, feed and provide medical care is even MORE irresponsible. This vicious cycle has to stop!! Do we wait until the number of animals euthanized reach critical mass or do we step forward and make some reasonable changes. If we do so now, we save the suffering of thousands of animals and begin saving taxpayer dollars immediately. We should adopt a mandatory spay/neuter policy as have other cities. There is not a reasonable argument for delay. It is simply and purely the right and decent thing to do.
  • by JM Location: Lauderdale on Aug 10, 2009 at 11:28 PM
    This is unbelievable !!!! The director of Animal Control was interviewed for an article in the Meridian Star about the new low cost spay/neuter program. While promoting spay/neuter this man had the audacity to say if more people would spay/neuter then the number of animals euthanized would decrease... all the while animals are adopted at Animal Control all day every day unaltered for $15. If he made sure all of the animals were altered before being adopted wouldn't this help decrease the number euthanized? Shouldn't he practice what he preaches?
  • by Ann Location: North Caroline on Aug 10, 2009 at 06:13 PM
    I don't agree with killin the animals, but I also think the reporter should have paraphrased Mr. Newell's comments rather than quoting him; he obviously has no education or he wouldn't butcher the English language!
  • by John Location: Meridian on Aug 10, 2009 at 09:48 AM
    Anti-PETA man..your an idiot. Im not a "tree hugger" or a PETA freak but I do have a dog at home that my family and I care alot about. If you have ever had a pet and actually cared for it you would know the feeling. The only difference between these dogs and family pets is someone is not there to care for these but does that mean just shoot them?? Terrible job by the animal control and even worse job by the citizens for dropping dogs off. Take responsibility and do the right thing if you know you cant take care of an animal!
  • by Anonymous on Aug 10, 2009 at 06:41 AM
    Shooting an animal that is not attacking anyone is a crime and just plain inhuman. Shame on the people that are supposed to be "animal control". It is just plain murder!!!!
  • by Kasey Location: Meridian on Aug 9, 2009 at 08:19 PM
    Animal Control (and its director, Dewayne Sosebee) can be reached at 601-485-1956. Mr. Wayman Newell can be reached at 601-482-9746 or by email at Mr. Mike Sumrall is the Lauderdale County Administrator and can be reached at 601-482-9751. Please voice your concerns and let them know how you feel about the issue. This is very important in making a change and making your opinion count. These are all public phone numbers and can be viewed online at
WTOK-TV 815 23rd Ave Meridian, Ms. 39301 Phone: (601) 693-1441
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