Dangerous Dog Rules Hearing

When it comes to dangerous dogs, the Health Department is looking to change the current rules.

Some cities have taken drastic steps to fight their animal problems.  Council Bluffs has a ban on all pit bulls – residents can’t breed or own them.  That’s not something Lincoln is looking to do, but they are trying to update the rules currently have in place.

People filled the basement of the Lincoln–Lancaster County Health Department to voice their opinions on current animal control ordinances.  Danny Walker was one person who gave his opinion.  “I’m hugely upset about repeat offenders.  One specific case I personally have been experiencing has drug on for five or seven years.”

Under new ordinances, Walker’s problem may be solved.  The Health Department wants to lower the amount of convictions an owner can get before their dog is taken away.

Right now, the rule is that your license is taken away if you get seven convictions in a year. They want to bring that number down to two or three convictions.

Other changes include raising license and citation fees for animals that aren’t fixed and getting rid of voice control as an appropriate method to restrain a dog.

Bruce Dart with the Health Department says they want to be ahead of the problem.  “We really want to be proactive.  We want to have ordinances that will hopefully prevent some adverse events from occurring so we can protect people and protect the animals before anything bad might happen.”

While these new ordinances will apply to all dogs, some that came people that attended the hearing feel as if their dogs are getting a bad reputation.

The Health Department will take these recommendations and then come up with their final plan.  They’ll then present that to the Board of Health who will take a look at it and eventually the City Council, which will happen sometime early next year.