Been waiting to see this come down, the newly proposed legislation out of Omaha about ‘dangerous dogs.’ They’ve got a few other things thrown in too for good measure. There didn’t outright ban pitbulls but the do have some targeted measures among the ordinances. It’s not as bad as it could be or as bad as I seen, but BSL is still BSL.

Some of the proposed changes I agree with and some need to be tossed out like the trash they are.

This sweeping proposal, which is it is passed by the Omaha City Council, could take effect as early as October 1st. It comes on the heels of an attack on a 15 month old baby in June. The attack was by a pitbull or pit mix, undoubtedly owned by someone it should not have been, untrained or not properly trained or socialized.

I am almost getting to the point that when it comes to pitbulls or any breed of dog that could potentially be labeled ‘dangerous’, that potential owners should be tested before they are even allowed to have these dogs. Then maybe we could weed out problem owners; thugs, punks, gang members, toughie wanna-be’s, etc. If the wrong people were not allowed to own these types of dogs, most all of the problems could be solved right there!! Now that’s some breed specific legislation I could get behind. Target owners, not the dogs!!

Mayor Mike Fahey has decided not to ban pit bulls.

Instead the city is planning to go after what are known as “potentially dangerous animals” trying to stop dog attacks before they start.

Potentially dangerous animals include all pit bulls, and any breed that injures, chases, or acts menacing. Judy Varner is the Executive Director of the Humane Society, “These are dogs who haven’t bit yet, these are dogs who are showing the propensity to bite.”

Any dog labeled as potentially dangerous wouldn’t be allowed out, unless it’s on a short leash and muzzled.

Here’s a summary of what Mayor Mike Fahey put together;

Cruelty to Animals

  • Anti Tethering – No dog can be tethered outdoors in excess of 15 minutes at any one time unless a trolley system is utilized. Tethering using a trolley system cannot exceed one hour. This is great!! Like to see anti-tethering ordinances everywhere. Why have a dog and just keep it tied up or outside all the time??

Potentially Dangerous Animals

  • Establishes “Potentially Dangerous Dog” designation – Under the proposed amendment, the Nebraska Humane Society can designate specific dogs, based on their behavior, as “potentially dangerous”.
  • Definition of “Potentially Dangerous Dog” – Any animal that when unprovoked: (i) inflicts injury on a human being that does not require medical treatment, (ii) injures a domestic animal, or (iii) chases or approaches a person upon streets, sidewalks, or any public grounds in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack. In addition, any specific animal with a known propensity, tendency, or disposition to attack when unprovoked, to cause injury, or to threaten the safety of humans or domestic animals. In general, don’t see a problem here as long as they don’t start targeting dogs protecting their owners or their owner’s property from trespass.
  • Spaying or Neutering and Microchip Identification Required – Mandatory Spaying or Neutering and Microchip Identification of potentially dangerous dogs within 30 days of designation.
  • Classes Required – Owners of dogs designated as potentially dangerous must attend a responsible pet ownership class approved by the animal control authority within 90 days of designation. At the discretion of the animal control authority, a dog designated as potentially dangerous may be required to attend a dog behavior class approved by the authority within 90 days of designation. Training is excellent! More dogs owners, if they can’t train their dogs properly should go to a training class with their dogs, not just an ownership class.
  • Leash and Muzzle Required – It is unlawful for any person to permit a potentially dangerous dog to go beyond the property of such person unless the animal is under the control of a person 19 years of age or older, restrained securely by a leash and properly muzzled. This only makes sense. It protect the dogs, the owner and the public.

Reckless Owner

  • Dog owners convicted of any provision of Chapter 6 on three separate occasions within 24 months is deemed a reckless owner, they must surrender all pets and are prohibited from owning a pet for 2 years of the designation. Excellent!! Make the dog owner take serious responsibility. Just wonder what’s going to happen to the surrendered dogs?

Leash and Muzzle Requirement for Pit Bulls – Ok, here’s the BS… I mean BSL

  • It is unlawful for any person to permit a pit bull outdoors unless confined in a securely fenced yard or unless the animal is under the control of a person 19 years of age or older, restrained securely by a leash and properly muzzled.
  • A pit bull is defined as any dog that is an American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Dogo Argentina, Presa Canario or Cane Corso, or any dog displaying the majority of physical traits/characteristics of any one or more of the mentioned breeds.

Records

  • To increase licensing requirements, animal dealers are required to provide the animal control authority the records of the dates of sale, identification and sex of each pet sold, and the name and address of the purchaser of each pet sold.

Fees

  • Each neutered male or spayed female dog license will increase from $15 to $20 in 2009 and to $25 in 2011.
  • Each sterilized cat license will increase from $12 to $15 in 2009.
  • Each intact male or female dog/cat will increase from $30 to $50 in 2009.
  • The cost of recovering an unaltered dog that has been impounded by the animal control authority will be increased.

According to Fahey bans don’t work very well. “Council Bluffs has the same thing, they still have bites.”

Omaha’s new plan, which must still be approved by the City Council is costly, up to half a million dollars, for more manpower and equipment. The money coming from pet owners who will be facing higher fees.

As you can see, most of the proposal isn’t bad at all, it’s actually pretty good. I still wish people would see the dogs as dog and not target specific breeds. Yes, I do know that pitbulls and many other breeds that are targeted can cause problems, can be vicious and dangerous… but just about any dog can.They can also be some of the sweetest dogs on earth. Target the owners!!

Proposed Omaha Dangerous Dog Legislation

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