Tuesday, November 5, 2013

32 Pit Bulldogs and Other Property v. County of Prentiss case brief

32 Pit Bulldogs and Other Property v. County of Prentiss case brief summary
808 So.2d 971

The Prentiss County Circuit Court, Mississippi, charged defendant with the crime of dog fights and related violations of Miss. Code Ann. § 97-41-19 (1972) and ordered that 18 of the 32 pit bulldogs seized be euthanized. Defendant appealed.

Defendant argued that the circuit court erred in determining that the vicious and aggressive nature of the pit bulldogs was a physical condition which permitted euthanization, pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. § 97-41-19(3). Defendant argued that the statute was plain and unambiguous. The appellate court found that the statute was neither plain nor unambiguous. The purpose and objective of the statute was to prosecute individuals who engaged in the business of dog fighting. The statute made provisions not only for what constituted the crime, but for the seizure and disposition of those things utilized in the perpetration of the crime, including the dogs themselves.

The circuit court's broader interpretation of the statute, that a dog seized pursuant to the statute may be humanely euthanized by reason of the physical condition of the dog, was correct as that interpretation was in keeping with the obvious legislative intent in enacting the criminal dogfight statute.

The judgment was affirmed.

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