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Animal activist wins the day

By Staff
TEMPORARY HOME n The board of supervisors has agreed to allow Cheryl Walton and the Lauderdale County Humane Society to use buildings at a Lover's Lane recreational site from April 1 until Oct. 1. Photo by Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
March 16, 2001
Lauderdale County supervisors agreed Thursday to allow the Lauderdale County Humane Society to use buildings at a Lover's Lane recreational site.
Causeyville animal activist Cheryl Walton has housed stray cats and dogs at her home for more than a year, appealing periodically to the board of supervisors for help in controlling the stray animal population.
District 3 Supervisor Craig Hitt asked the board last month to donate buildings at a proposed Lovers' Lane recreational site for an animal shelter. District 4 Supervisor Q.V. Sykes rejected the idea after discussing it with a supervisors' recreation committee.
Supervisors have decided to let the Humane Society use the buildings from April 1 until Oct. 1.
District 5 Supervisor Ray Boswell, who is on a supervisors' animal control committee with Hitt, said he wants to see if the Humane Society's animal shelter works. If it does, he said it can be moved to a new location after six months. If it doesn't, he said supervisors "may have to do something else" to control strays.
Hitt and Boswell also proposed an animal ordinance. People who violate it could face misdemeanor charges and fines of $100 or more.
Under the proposed ordinance, animals would not be allowed to run unleashed in subdivisions and animals declared a nuisance wouldn't be able to roam free in unincorporated county areas. The ordinance would also protect animals from inhumane treatment, such as being left unattended in vehicles or being kept in unsanitary pens.
Supervisors will have to hold a public hearing before they can formally adopt the ordinance. The process could be completed in about two months. An animal control officer would have to be designated, and Hitt said he is in favor of using one or more county patrolmen for the job. Supervisors agreed to discuss the possibility.
She said she "absolutely" supports the ordinance and favors fines because they will make people realize the offenses are serious.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.