Dangerous Dog Ordinance Debated by Waterloo City Leaders
Waterloo, IO - City Attorney Jim Walsh recently drafted an ordinance outlining a list of potentially dangerous dog breeds -- pit bull terriers, Rottweilers, wolf hybrids, chows, Doberman pinschers and others. Owners would need to register their dog, provide appropriate confinement and carry liability insurance.
The Cedar Bend Humane Society suggested a third option. As usual, the idea is to base the crime on the deed, not the breed. As typical, they suggested, "If a dog bites --- or perhaps is found running at large more than once --- it should be required to register with the city as a potentially dangerous dog, triggering additional steps for the owners."
The problem with this thinking is that often times it is the dog's first bite that causes human beings and other pets catastrophic damage. The point of Breed Specific Legislation is to prevent dangerous breeds from biting the first time.
Like many cities unwilling to take a brave stand, a related proposal was crafted that met a warmer reception. The new proposal is complicated and ineffective, moreover, it lacks civil victim recourse. Here it is:
The new ordinance would not allow the owner of a dog to keep the animal during the appeal process for a dangerous dog citation, and the owner would be required to post a bond to cover the boarding costs for the animal pending that appeal. Owners choosing to remove a dangerous dog from the city --- rather than destroying it --- would need to post a plan of where it would be taken; dogs returning to the city would be destroyed immediately without appeal.