Watchdog: Vicksburg tries to protect postal, utility workers

December 12, 2021 GMT

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi city will require dog owners to keep their animals from interfering with postal workers and meter readers.

The Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved an ordinance last week, and it will take effect in about a month, the Vicksburg Post reported. City attorney Nancy Thomas said the Public Works Department and animal control officers requested the rule.

“They’ve had several instances where animals appeared to be vicious or were tied around a utility pole, meter box or mailbox and the workers can’t get to where they need to get,” Thomas said.

In those situations, workers have had to call the animal control office for help.

Besides paying a fee to get their dog back, pet owners could face fines and court costs for violating the ordinance.

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The assistant director of Public Works, Dane Lovell, said the situation with animals harassing and preventing utility workers from doing their jobs has been going on for a while.

“It seems to be getting a little bit worse,” he said.

Vicksburg Animal Control Director Kacie Lindsey said officers have had to go out “to quite a few homes” to restrain an animal chained to a utility meter or chained where it can get to the meter.