LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday agreed to approve an ordinance giving animal control officers the right to declare a dog “vicious,” a designation that can potentially lead to the animal being euthanized.

The new measure changes the definition of what actually makes a dog dangerous, and does not require a severe injury to a person who is attacked by a dog.

KNX 1070’s John Brooks
reports animal control officers will now have the power to seize an animal simply for chasing someone.

“There doesn’t necessarily have to be a bite,” said director of animal control Marcia Mayeda. “But if a dog’s charging at you down the street and you jump on top of a car to get out of the way, that’s a potentially dangerous dog.”

Under current law, owners of dogs deemed to be potentially dangerous can be forced to either muzzle the dogs and place them on a short leash or otherwise confine them — in addition to requiring the dog to undergo training classes.

But if a dog is determined to be a “significant threat to the public health, safety and welfare,” animal control personnel can destroy the dog under the new ordinance.

The board’s 4-0 support of the draft ordinance included noted animal lover Supervisor Michael Antonovich’s yes vote.

The law also sets up a more cost-effective administrative hearing process, one that won’t call on the Superior Court to resolve disputes over whether the picked-up dog was in fact dangerous.

Comments (200)
  1. Irma Carrillo says:

    As for the dog haters, please use your “intelligence” to realize that for other people, dogs are beloved companions and for human society they are life-savers for the disabled, ill, for those that require rescue from a search and rescue dog, closure for a cadaver dog, protection for everyone from the family to the K-9 officer (human & dog) to the dogs who sniff out illegal drugs, arms, bombs and give their lives in the military to protect our American soldiers.

    You may hate dogs, but given the role they fill in human society, they deserve everyone’s respect and protection.

    I’d like to see the dog haters tell a rescue team if they were trapped under a building after the ‘big 1″ tell the rescuers to get that nuisance away from them and the city of LA then.

  2. Janet says:

    There are no bad dogs, just bad owners. Unfortunately when a dog gets vicious, the dog has to be put down because there is no other choice, and the owner gets a fine which is basically a slap on the wrist then they just go out and get another one. These poor animals get such a bad rap. There are too many pit bulls, german shepherds and other dogs like these in the shelters because their owners couldn’t handle them. People need to do their homework before getting an animal like this. If you can train them wonderful, you’ll have a beautiful dog that will be a beautiful companion, if not, don’t get them you will just ruin their lives.

    1. Simon Sez says:

      Love your smart, politics free, pro-responsible ownership, opinion.

  3. Lonnie Fehr says:

    about time ,,, dog owners who think its funny when there dog chases etc someone . you know the ones ,,, who never use a leash . plus if you fear your safety you have the right to defend yourself against a dog ,, a bat gun etc etc … this new law wouldn’t even be needed if it wasn’t cause of irresponsible dog owners ,,running dogs off leash ,,,

  4. Simon Sez says:

    I have a dog. He is an American Pit Bull Terrier.
    Rescued from the pound, about to be put to “sleep”.

    The problem is not you pedalling. The problem is the irresponsible owner who leaves the dog outside.
    My dog already has a label bc of his breed. Why should we put up with dumb unleashed chihuahuas or golden retrievers around the neighborhood?
    They come looking for trouble, and of course my dog, on a leash, and myself are the ones who have to run the other way to avoid trouble.

    I think this law (in some cases) might protect people and dogs like us, who get chased while doing nothing. I could just unleash my dog and let him take care of business when dogs chase us, but then he will be put back in the pound and put to sleep for being vicious. There are many sides on this story, but people need to be responsible and take care, and train their dogs.

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