Dangerous dogs may get stricter rules - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dangerous dogs may get stricter rules

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August 15, 2003

Albany - If you own a potentially dangerous dog, you could be faced with stricter laws. The City of Albany is looking into changing dangerous dog rules.

This idea was sparked because of a four-year-old getting mauled by a pit bull on Sunday. The boy survived, but suffered facial injuries. The revised ordinance went from two pages to ten. Albany Mayor Tommy Coleman says, "It will protect children and families when out walking."

If a dog jumps a fence and bites somebody it could mean criminal charges for the owner. Coleman adds, "There are stiff penalties like a minimal find of $500.00 for not complying with the ordinance"

Sometimes you know a dog is potentially dangerous because of its aggressive behavior. The Albany ordinance will tighten state laws so you can determine that before it bites somebody. Coleman says, "Trying to put in a way to identify animals that are dangerous and then require the owner that is dangerous to do certain things to protect the public."

Just to name a few, owners would have to buy insurance on the dog, put up warning signs and register with Dog Control Officers on an annual basis. The Mayor adds, "This is just a measure to give people the right to report a dangerous dog and to take some measures for the safety of our people here in Albany."

If the ordinance passes, a Dog Control Officer will investigate complaints to classify a dog as dangerous. The owner also has a chance to appeal with the Animal Control Board.

The Dangerous Dog Ordinance will be discussed 8:30 Tuesday morning at the Albany City Commission meeting.

posted at 5:40PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com