Cairo passes "vicious" dog law -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Cairo passes "vicious" dog law

February 16, 2007

Cairo-- The recent animal ordinance passed by Cairo city council changes the old one only slightly, but significantly.  Any dog labeled "vicious" must be registered by the city by April 1st.

But what constitutes vicious?  "What we're basically looking at are animals that have been unprovoked and attacked somebody, bitten them, scratched them, hurt them in some way," says veterinarian Dr. Patricia Dileo.

The registration law requires a recent color photo of the animal in question every year along with an annual $40 fee.  Owners also must show proof of liability insurance for $100,000 damage the animal could cause.

But Dileo says the ordinance could have been worse, for owners of certain breeds.  "Initially they tried to pin it on pit bulls because unfortunately pit bulls have been branded an evil vicious creature."

A pit bull owner herself, Amanda Taylor is glad they've removed the species specific element of the ordinance. As a vet tech, she's sees first hand that animals of all types could be qualified as vicious.  "We have from Chihuahuas to, we have mean cow's I mean, that attack us."

Dogs that are found to be vicious will have to wear a dangerous dog collar to identify them. If it attacks again, there will be consequences.  "Ultimately they'll have the right to take the dog away from that person and potentially have it destroyed,"said Dileo.

Dileo thinks the ordinance will provoke accountability in the public.  "I would hope that the public would just be more aware of there animals and confine them properly, and don't allow them free access to roaming, ultimately that's why they get hurt," she said.  Or potentially, hurt someone else.

The Cairo police chief plans to meet with animal control soon to hammer out more details about how they will specifically enforce the new law.




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