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Terrebonne Parish Cracks Down On Violent Dogs

TERREBONNE PARISH, (WGNO) - Nearly four months after a 4-year-old girl was mauled to death by her family dog in Houma, Terrebonne Parish leaders are cracking down on violent dogs.

It’s an unforgettable, heartbreaking story. On March 25th, 4-year-old Mia Derouen was mauled to death. The young girl was killed by her family’s pit bull.

Now, nearly four months later, Terrebonne Parish leaders are fighting back by passing a tougher dog ordinance. Terrebonne Parish Animal Shelter Manager Valerie Robinson believes it’s essential to keep kids and adults safe, but she says the new ordinance doesn’t focus on pit bulls.

“This is a non-breed specific legislation, so it has nothing to do with the breed of the dog. It is simply to do with the behaviors of the dogs, so the actions of the dog; has nothing to do with the breed,” explains Robinson.

Basically whether your dog is a 100 pound pit bull or a 10 pound mutt they’d both be considered equal until one is deemed dangerous or vicious.

According to the ordinance a dangerous dog means when unprovoked it attacks or exhibits questionable behaviors.

“All pets should be licensed with Terrebonne Parish. The dangerous dog license was increased last night from $10 to $150,” says Robinson.

A vicious dog means when unprovoked it kills, inflicts serious injury, or was previously labeled dangerous and acts up again. An animal deemed vicious is put down and its owner is fined $500.

Most residents we spoke to agree with the tougher rules.

“With the rash of dog accidents that they’ve been having lately yes I do believe it is, and it’s probably going to keep a lot of people more safe.”

“If you’re going to own a pet you need to be responsible with what happens with your pet, just like if you murder a human as a human you’re responsible for that as well.”

If a dog is deemed dangerous besides paying the $150 license it must be properly secured, spayed, and have a microchip.

To read the full ordinance click here.