Originally posted in the Westport News, but now the article is "unavailable". This has also been posted on several other forums and in an email newsletter from PAWS ( http://www.pawsct.org/ ) in Norwalk, CT.
Westport is getting ready to organize its Dangerous Dog Board.
In a community with lots of dog lovers, a meeting scheduled Wednesday at Town Hall of the Dangerous Dog Board sparked some curiosity, although the session was later cancelled. First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, who also pointed out that June is the month to renew dog license, said yesterday that the organizational meeting is now scheduled for July 10.
It will include two veterinarians, a member interested in training dogs and a member of the public. Previously a Humane Society representative was to be
a member of the board but the position was declined. So, at least for the time being, it will be a four-member board.
The Dangerous Dog Board ordinance was approved by the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) in May 2002, according to RTM Moderator Alice Shelton. In a brief telephone interview Wednesday, Shelton pointed out that she had written a report on the ordinance in the spring of 2002 when the RTM was debating the measure.
Asked why the town waited until now to organize the board, Joseloff explained that there has not been a dangerous dog situation in need of the board's attention. When there was a period of time in which it appeared there might be a reason for the board to meet, it was decided it would be prudent to have the Dangerous Dog Board in place.
Despite the adventures of Lewis, a search of the Internet didn't reveal any Dangerous Cat Boards, although Dangerous Dog Boards are common. Although Westport's board has yet to spring into action, the ordinance itself was lauded in an editorial by a Rhode Island newspaper because the editors felt the Westport measure was better crafted and included the work of some experts.
In the Town of Westport Code Supplement No. 55 dated Dec. 15, 2005, the dangerous dog item covers such things as appeals, change of ownership, confinement, fees, hearings, impoundment, investigations, keeping of dangerous dogs, leashing requirements, liability, muzzling and the procedure for declaring a dog dangerous.
In addition, notification policy is listed including notification of escape, notification of intent to impound and notification of determination regarding dangerous dog declaration.
I know the date for the organizational meeting was for yesterday evening, but I think it would be a good idea for CT residents to keep a watch on this for further developments. When I receive more information, I will pass it along.