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Miniature horse attacked by wild dogs recovering

A beloved miniature horse in Fondren is recovering from an attack by aggressive dogs, while the owners of a cat that was missing and feared to have been hurt by one of those dogs are rejoicing about his return.

Most of the city’s eight animal control officers have focused their efforts on Fondren since receiving calls about aggressive dogs, said Marquett Allen, animal control manager for the city of Jackson.

Two aggressive dogs “were chased to where they belong” on May 12, he said. Animal control officers continue to search for two brown male dogs thought to be aggressive, he said.

Becky Potts and her husband, Don, chased away a white dog and a black dog on May 1 between 1:30 am and 2 am after they heard the cries of Buttercup, their 11-year-old miniature horse, who was in their fenced yard.

“When I touched her my hand came back covered in blood,” Becky Pott said. “Her back legs of her were solid red, covered in blood.”

Potts called Dixie Equine Medicine & Surgery in Madison at 2 pm to alert Dr. J. Donald Vice Jr. that Buttercup needed care, loaded her in the van she travels in and drove her to the clinic.

“I’ve spent two hours stitching her up,” she said. “She would have bled out if I hadn’t taken her to the vet.”

The vet bill amounted to $1,086, Potts said, recalling how when she went to pay someone remarked, “You need to find the owner and get them to pay the bill.”

Potts said Alice Patterson, deputy clerk of the council for Ward 7, helped her find someone to add more fencing around her home.

Debra Boswell of the Mississippi Animal Rescue League said Jackson has a problem with stray dogs because many owners do not get their pets spayed or neutered and they allow them to give birth to multiple litters and then don’t care for the puppies.

“There are a lot of homeless dogs on the streets in Jackson,” she said. “We get many calls every day about that.”

Compounding the problem is the fact that a male dog in heat will jump a fence to get to a female dog, Boswell said.

Boswell advises caution when it comes to aggressive dogs. Never challenge an aggressive dog, she said, noting that the best thing to do is to avoid making eye contact and back away if possible

Boswell recommends adults have youngsters play inside instead of outside and residents who walk for exercise find a new location when they know aggressive dogs are in an area. “It’s better to be safe than sorry,” she said.

The city’s animal control officers drop off injured or diseased animals and animals involved in animal cruelty cases at the Mississippi Animal Rescue League because the Jackson animal shelter in west Jackson was closed in October 2021 due to lack of running water and other issues.

The city’s animal control services are merely re-active and not pro-active as they should also be, Boswell said.

Best Friends, a nonprofit, national animal welfare organization, has offered to provide help with some of the repairs and operation of the Jackson animal shelter and has had several meetings with city representatives about the offer, which amounts to $100,000 to $300,000 in free services.

Louis P. Wright, chief administrative officer for the city of Jackson, said the city must work out details with Best Friends but “it looks promising” that the city might accept the organization’s offer of help.

Buttercup’s recovery is encouraging, although she can’t yet jump in the van like she once did or pull a cart, Potts said.

“Everybody in the neighborhood loves Buttercup,” Potts said, noting that children often hang out windows of passing cars to shout hello to her and guests at a nearby Airbnb are pleasantly surprised to see her when they take a walk.

A few blocks away from the Potts and Buttercup, Tracy Crosby and her husband, Nick Hunter, awaited the return of Solomon, their 10-year-old cat.”

Crosby said she chased away four big dogs who were terrorizing Solomon when he was outside on their patio several weeks ago.

“An aggressive dog returned to their carport on May 11 and that’s when Solomon went missing, Crosby said.

The good news is Solomon is back home, safe with his owners.

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