published Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Red Bank eyes rules to harness dangerous dogs

About two months ago, Mr. Bing, a Chihuahua mix, was attacked outside his home in Red Bank by a dog that got through an electric fence.

Mr. Bing managed to get away, but still required $700 in medical treatment.

“Our first concern was the pet, so we took Mr. Bing to the vet,” said Darin Wright, owner of the 15-year-old dog. “Then I started thinking about the fact there are many loose dogs running around and, as a resident, I don’t have any recourse.”

The attack on Mr. Bing and other residents’ concerns prompted Wright to propose an ordinance to address the issue of loose dogs.

On Tuesday, the Red Bank City Commission met to review the first draft of the “vicious dogs” ordinance, as City Manager Chris Dorsey, called it.

The proposal, very similar to what Chattanooga already has, classifies dogs who have nearly attacked or injured a person or another animal as “potentially dangerous” and “dangerous.”

PROPOSED DEFINITIONS

* Dangerous dog: Any dog that, according to the records of an appropriate authority: inflicts a severe injury on a human being without provocation on public or private property or bites, attacks, scratches or endangers the safety of a human being without provocation after the dog has been classified as a potential dangerous dog.

* Potential dangerous dog: Any dog that without provocation bites, attacks, scratches, or endangers the safety of a human being on any public or private property; or any dog that attacks and kills, or severely injures another properly restrained companion animal while on private or public property.

Source: City of Red Bank

BY THE NUMBERS

Number of animals that went to the Humane Education Society in 2009 from Red Bank:

* 90: Owner surrendered animals

* 138: Stray animals

* 6: Wildlife

* 2: Seized for court

Source: Guy Bilyeu, executive director for the Humane Educational Society

If a dog, regardless of the breed, is deemed by a judge to be dangerous, among other things, the owner would be required to have a $100,000 liability insurance, a dog tag that clearly says the dog is dangerous and it must be kept in a pen inside a fenced yard.

A dog classified as potentially dangerous would have to be kept indoors or confined on the owner’s property and attend obedience classes.

The ordinances basically allow dogs to be put on trial, said Red Bank City Attorney Arnold Stulce, and be “arrested” if needed until their hearing.

“This just gives us a better legal basis to control animals that are not being kept under control by their owners,” he added.

Red Bank has a $62,000 contract with the Humane Education Society for the city’s animal control services.

Such as ordinance, said Guy Bilyeu, executive director of the Humane Education Society, would help the city enforce the law as part of the contract.

“You need to have ordinances like this because, unfortunately, animal laws are so vague and judges have a difficult time determining what type of penalties someone should get,” Bilyeu said. “This just gives them more tools to work with.”

One of the concerns of Red Bank Mayor Joe Glasscock is whether the Humane Education Society has the manpower to enforce the law, but Bilyeu said that essentially is what it does now.

Although city officials say dangerous dogs are not a huge problem in Red Bank at the moment, they want to pass the ordinance more as a precaution than anything else.

“Anything that will help protect our citizens as well as other pets is probably a good thing for us to be looking into and for us to try to make changes to make it better,” said Dorsey.

The commissioners decided to determine the cost of enforcing the ordinance, plus discussing the details with Bilyeu as they go forward.

Click here to vote in our daily poll: Is it right for a city to dictate policy on what type of dog you can have?

Continue reading by following these links to related stories:

Article: City OKs dog chain time limit

Article: Saying no to dog chains

Article: Collegedale OKs animal ordinance

Article: City addresses menacing dogs problem

Article: Pit bulls unwelcome in South Pittsburg

about Perla Trevizo...

Perla Trevizo joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in 2007 and covers immigration/diversity issues and higher education. She holds a master’s degree in newswire journalism from Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, Spain, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Texas. In 2011 she participated in the Bringing Home the World international reporting fellowship program sponsored by the International Center for Journalists, producing a series on Guatemalan immigrants for which she ...

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diegochase4 said...

You guys should stop complaining cuz one the health care we have now isnt as good as it was supposed to be. also the law has just been signed give it a try u guys are too hard on democrats they went to college and we voted for most of these people.so if u want to say u have the right to choose tell that to ur congress men or state official. as for obama people are just tryin to make it look like america made a mistake he has done things to help us and we had a full 8 years of a terrible president and i will be so as happy as ever when a obama fixes bush's mistakes. You can find full medical coverage at the lowest price from http://bit.ly/chE6zp . obama has to put up with the world judging his every move and trying to fix the mess we are in we are lucky anyone wants to be our president. STOP COMPLAINING AND GIVE HIM A BREAK. i wanna see one of yall do what he has done. some people are just so ignorant.

August 4, 2010 at 1:12 a.m.
SeaIsland said...

"classifies dogs who have nearly attacked"

Pretty much sums it up.

August 4, 2010 at 10:05 p.m.
cecelia said...

At noon on April 30 2009 a neighbor dog had got out and began harassing my dogs, caused them begin fighting, charm, who usually remain inside, had got out of the house she knew haw to open the door got herself caught up in the ruckus create by this other dog, causing her an injury to her leg, it was broken before and it had gotten re broken in the ruckus, I have 4 dogs and they are all kept behind an 8ft, chain link fence, cemented at the bottom, someone had called animal control because of the dog fighting I received a call at work from mu son upon hes return home, finding a note from animal control stating that if I did not come to their facility immediately, they would put the dog down. I left work, went to river a animal hospital where the note said my dog was 'in custody'. Upon arriving at the hospital, I was inform that they were going to put my dog to sleep because she was bleeding form her rectum. I objected. They also claimed that she was bleeding in her lungs although there were no puncture wounds to substantiate such a claim, an argument ensued as I informed them that I want to take my dog to another vet for a second opinion. But after speaking with the vet on stall to inform him of this, he refused release of my dog claiming that her lungs were filling up with fluid, she was in shock, she was in no shape to be transported anywhere because she 'wouldn't move' this was because they had her heavily sedated with “pain medication” for her “injuries”,although the only apparent injury was the one to her leg. they informed me that for $3000 they could 'fix' mu dog, I agreed to the surgery, they began prepping her. They took her temp, rectally in my presence, which was 99 degrees, and I noticed no blood on the thermometer, about 10 minutes later I was informed that because I not pass their credit check they were going to put the dog down, when I objected, the animal control officer began write me tickers, the more I objected the more tickets they wrote. I asked if they would allow me ti take my dog home, if she was not better within 24 hours I would bring her back they adamantly refused, they also threatened to come get my other dogs, I tried to argue with them some more but they intimidated me by telling me they were going to put me in jail. So by intimidating me they finally went through with authenticating me dog. She was taken to this hospital once before with a broken leg and river hospital tried to put her to sleep them. I told this to the officer but he didn't care he said that if it was up to him all pits would be destroyed, I remove her from RIVER once before and took her to banfield hospital where she underwent surgery and recovered form her injuries, she lived a good life until this happened to her, as an animal owner you have rights' contrary to the law. I wish I knew then what I know now , maybe charm would still be with us, I would appreciate any help you may provide in helping me.

                        Cecelia Westberry
October 5, 2010 at 4:48 a.m.
truthbetold said...

well all dogs should were harnesses. even little rat dogs. they are just as dangerous. my cousin got badly injured by one because people that own tiny dogs dont think that there dog should have to. well tell that to little kids when they run back to there mommy's in tear because of the dang thing. Yet not everyone is going to listen, thats why so many dogs get put down now a days.

February 2, 2011 at 9:27 p.m.
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