Council rejects stricter 'dangerous animals' law

HOUMA, LA (WAFB) - Stricter laws for pet owners with animals deemed dangerous is off the table for now in Lafourche Parish.

The council voted down the issue, saying the wording was too vague. Councilman John Arnold proposed a stricter ordinance after a 4-year-old girl was killed by a pit bull earlier this year. It would have required owners get special permits for animals authorities consider vicious.

The Houma Police Department said Mia Derouen, 4, died from the facial and head injuries she suffered in the mauling at the Houma Highlands Apartments in Houma. Her mother was identified as Megan Touchet, 27.

Police said the large 2-year-old pit bull, named Niko, attacked Derouen inside the apartment and when Touchet fought the dog off the child, it attacked her.

Derouen was rushed to Terrebonne General Medical Center, where she later died. Touchet was taken to the hospital with moderate injuries.

According to authorities, officials killed the dog to prevent further injuries. They shot it a total of 12 times. Officers said the dog would just not give up.

Copyright 2014 WAFB. All rights reserved.