City chewing over amendment to vicious dog ordinance

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Some changes to the city’s dangerous and vicious dog ordinance could take effect sometime this summer in an effort to allow police officers to properly handle situations where dogs are attacking another pet and causing a threat to humans in the process.

Law Director Norman Brague explained that the city’s current ordinance states that it is legal to shoot a dog if that dog is attacking another animal other than a dog or a cat.

“This is right out of the Ohio Revised Code,” Brague said at a recent committee of the whole meeting. “The intent of the statute really is to protect livestock.”

The proposed amendment would allow for a dog to be shot if it is attacking another dog or a cat, but only a law enforcement officer would be allowed to shoot the dog as discharging a firearm is illegal within city limits.

Hiscock explained that an officer would not shoot at a dog if the dog was trying to attack a wild animal such as a squirrel or a rabbit.

“This deals with companion animals because our goal is to protect a human from a dog who is attacking,” Hiscock said, adding that many pet owners would likely intervene to protect their pet if it was being attacked.

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