Putting some teeth in the ordinance

Oklahoma City has adopted new animal-control laws for the first time in twenty-five years, and it’s going to take a little more time to fine-tune at least one of them.

Upside: There is no presumption that, say, a dog is “dangerous” because of its breed. Downside: Who gets to define “dangerous”? So the section on “aggressive behavior” (§ 8-132) is on hold until a Council subcommittee — with input from citizens and animal-welfare groups, if Sam Bowman (Ward 2) has his way, which seems only fair — can nail down a definition that will pass muster and/or avoid litigation.

Carrie Coppernoll from the Oklahoman:

The main concern among pet owners is that dogs doing their jobs — keeping strangers out — will be punished. Some owners have dogs specifically to protect their property. I do. Burglars aren’t scared of tail-wagging face lickers. However, neighbors are scared of fence-charging snarlers.

Other provisions are less controversial. The city has posted the changes [link to PDF file] to its Web site.





3 comments

  1. SnoopyTheGoon »

    4 October 2006 · 1:47 pm

    Uh-uh. It seems that OC Council is going into a rarified strata of politics now. After all, what is a dangerous dog to you is a valiant protector to me.

    Am I stealing from somewhere? Sure ;-)

  2. Joe »

    4 October 2006 · 2:48 pm

    The status of animal control, at least in the metro area, is currently unacceptable. I can’t count the number of times in the past year (since I moved out here) that I’ve been chased down the street by an unchained, unfenced dog in someone’s yard while out for a run. I’ve never experienced this phenomenon with such frequency anywhere else I’ve lived. However, I’m fairly sure that extra laws are hardly ever the way to attack a problem. In this case, I’m not sure what is.

  3. CGHill »

    4 October 2006 · 5:59 pm

    One thing that will help, I think, is that under the new rules there are other legal options between “release the critter” and “put it down”.

    Still, rather a lot of people keep animals without having the slightest idea how to curb potential threats, and that’s not acceptable in any society.

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