Archive for Thursday, June 26, 2003

Basehor Council weighs ordinance strengthening control of vicious dogs

June 26, 2003

The Basehor City Council is considering an ordinance regulating and perhaps controlling the ownership of vicious dogs.

During its meeting Monday, June 23, City Council members discussed a prepared ordinance, amending an existing ordinance concerning dogs deemed vicious. No decision was made Monday night; City Council members tabled the issue for further research.

The current city ordinance does not count an animal-against-animal attack as an offense, City attorney John Thompson said. His prepared ordinance reviewed Monday night adds that stipulation.

"It basically says a person (owning a vicious dog) can be prosecuted if the animal attacks another animal," Thompson said.

The ordinance also requires that vicious dog owners abide by leash and muzzle laws, carry up to $50,000 in insurance for the animal, post signs on their property and register animals deemed vicious.

It also prohibits the ownership of dogs that attack or "attempt to attack, bite or otherwise do bodily harm to a human being or animal."

However, some Council members want to bolster Thompson's version to include a ban on certain animals.

"Rottweilers, Dobermans, pit bulls. How many faces do they have to rip off of little kids before we draw the line and say there is a pattern here," City Council member John Bonee said.

"It would be irresponsible for the city not to do something and name names," he added.

For City Council members to decide in coming weeks is how to define vicious dogs and the legality of prohibiting ownership of certain breeds.

Thompson said he would research the issue further but, in his opinion, a prohibition against animals with aggressive tendencies could be limited.

"Based on the information available and research done on these particular breeds, yes I believe we can," he said.

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