Lexington council members will be voting on a revised vicious dog ordinance in the coming weeks. A committee gave unanimous approval this past week.
One of the most significant changes would allow animal control officers to impound dogs for ten days immediately following an attack. The incident could involve a dog biting a person or another domesticated animal.
Council member Peggy Henson says repeated attacks by the same dog in her district prompted her interest in modifications. “The whole reason I took this on was to protect the public from dogs that are running at large that are vicious,” said Henson.
Members considered removing new provisions for animal on animal attacks. But, committee member Susan Lamb spoke out against that amendment. “I know that in my district we have largely heard about issues with as it relates to dogs being attacked by other dogs,” noted Lamb.
Animal Care and Control Chief Nathan Bowling says quarantining a dog for ten days for a first time offense is a bit stringent. “They’re going to have to pay fees to get possession of their animal back, whether or not a charge is ever sought against them,” explained Bowling.
The revised ordinance also requires any court declared vicious dog to be spayed or neutered and tagged, be included in a photo registry, and have microchip identification. In addition, these animals must be properly kenneled and muzzled when off their owner’s property.