Vancouver, British Columbia, is on the brink of introducing a zero tolerance policy towards potentially dangerous dogs.
Although the city is famously dog friendly, with many employees able to take their pets to work, a ferocious attack on a young boy by a pit bull has spurred Vancouver City Council into taking measures.
Under the proposed plans, a pooch that nips a person, hardly breaking skin, would be classed as a potential danger. If he does it again, he will be officially classed as a dangerous dog, and will be banned from the city altogether. Likewise, if a dog that has no prior convictions or history of being aggressive inflicts a serious injury, such as disfigurement, broken bones or one that requires surgery or stitches, he will also be banished. In addition to harming humans, any dog that kills livestock or another domestic animal will receive similar punishment.
Vancouver’s laws about dogs haven’t been updated for over twenty years. In nearby Clark County, owners of potentially dangerous dogs must take a number of steps to ensure that on-one comes to harm. This includes keeping the dog in an enclosure that has a top and bottom, inserting a microchip into the dog, taking out dog insurance and submitting to inspections. If passed, Vancouver’s new rules would be much more stringent.
The Animal Control Manager for Clark County, Paul Scarpelli, thinks that it will be difficult for dog lovers to keep their pets. He commented:
“When it reaches this level, people have a very, very big decision on their hands. It’s a very challenging part of a dog owner’s life at this point.”
Stringent though these measures are, they aren’t enough for Bart Hansen, a Vancouver city councillor. He said:
“What happens if I own a dog and it mauls a child, I turn around, meet all this criteria, and it happens again?”
Aggressive dogs are undoubtedly a problem – and we’ll be offering advice on how to deal with a dog if it turns on you.
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