Howard County Passes Law Against Dangerous Dogs
Kokomo, IN - Howard County commissioners passed a new ordinance Monday aimed at dangerous dogs and their owners. The old law fell short of protecting people from dangerous, and potentially dangerous dogs. The new law will classify dogs who fit one of those categories. Dogs considered dangerous by the law are those bred for fighting or that have a history of biting. Those dogs are now banned from ownership in Howard County. The law also takes aim at the owners of potentially dangerous dogs.
"I've been bitten 6-12 times," said Greg Townsend, an avid runner who supports the law. "Mostly, they bite and then leave me alone, but I was viciously attacked last March by a pit bull."
The new law also expands enforcement powers to animal control officers and places more responsibility on owners. Like a similar law in Indianapolis, Howard County's law isn't breed specific. It also spells out the responsibilities of dog owners to ensure that potentially dangerous dogs are confined with posted warning signs or muzzled. Owners also must maintain a minimum of $50,000 in insurance. Dog owners will face hefty fines and even forfeiture of their animals. Kokomo's city council will also consider adopting the new ordinance which can also result in fines up to $2,500.