"It's very important to have tools for those kinds of dogs," Councilman Will O'Bryant said. "I want something with some teeth in it."
Modesto's current municipal code addresses all animal control violations with the same penalties: $100 citations. Last year, people whose dogs bit children or mauled other pets received multiple $100 fines on one ticket, some totaling more than $1,000. Citing owners for multiple code violations on one ticket, however, appears questionable from a legal standpoint.
"This is a horrific story she's telling us and it's one we see all too often," John Bear, supervisor of the Police Department's animal control unit, told the council.
Bear said the increased penalties would help the city deter reckless pet owners and give officers more leeway to seize a repeatedly vicious dog.