The Terrebonne Parish Council passed an ordinance Wednesday that increases penalties for owners of dangerous and vicious dogs.
And officials say the Lafourche Parish Council may consider a similar measure in the wake of a Sunday pit bull attack on a Chackbay resident.
Included in Terrebonne’s new ordinance are an increase in the license fee from $10 to $150 plus a $150 fine for owners of dogs deemed dangerous based on new criteria. Owners of animals deemed vicious would pay a $500 fine. And owners who fail to comply with existing standards for having a dangerous dog would incur a $500 fine.
Terrebonne Parish Animal Shelter Manager Valerie Robinson said the criteria for dangerous or vicious animals are “not breed specific.” Instead, the label will depend on the animal’s behavior.
Terrebonne’s dangerous and vicious dog regulations state that a “dangerous” dog is one that meets any of the following criteria:
n Engages in any unprovoked behavior that requires a defensive action from a person when the owner and dog are off the owner’s property.
n Bites and severely injures anyone while unprovoked on or off the owner’s property.
n Bites and severely injures or kills any other animal while unprovoked on or off the owner’s property.
n Exhibits any other behavior that warrants the designation as determined by an administrative hearing panel.
The administrative panel consists of the parish manager, Houma Police chief and parish Risk Management Department director.
“Once a complaint is filed, an investigation is launched,” Robinson said.