New rules for dangerous dogs
The rules are now tougher for dangerous dogs in the city of Knoxville. Tuesday night, the city council voted to amend the current ordinance to stiffen some penalties.
The changes target "level two" dangerous dogs in the city. In general, those dogs have attacked people or other animals more than once and caused serious harm.
Before, once a "level two" dog was seized, it could stay in the shelter indefinitely while the ownership of the animal was in dispute. Now, that dog can be euthanized after ten days.
The changes also allow a city judge to order the euthanasia instead of having to go to a state judge for approval.
Plus, the cost for any injuries, court fees, and shelter stays will have to be paid by the owner.
However, the council stopped short of amending the law to make it mandatory that a "level one" dog be spayed or neutered. Several members of the Tennessee Valley Kennel Club showed up to protest that section.
"I am also opposed to the mandatory spaying and neutering of a level one dangerous dog because there is the opportunity for them to earn the privilege of losing that label," Heather Debord said.
According to the ordinance, if a dog owner completes several tasks, including obedience classes, the "level one" classification can be lifted in 18 months.
That move did not sit will with Knoxville Animal Control officer Christina Wilson.
"Any kind of spaying or neutering of an animal is going to lower its aggression level, as well as other health benefits for the dog," she said.
Wilson also pointed out that the city and county laws now continue to be different, as the county does require the spaying or neutering of "level one" dogs.
Still, Wilson said the overall changes will make her job easier and the community safer.
http://www.wbir.com/news/local/story.as ... 02&catid=2
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