Cracking down on canines: Avon Lake passes new dog laws

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AVON LAKE, Ohio - City Council just passed two new laws aimed at protecting dogs in the community as well as their owners.

"I made it very clear from the beginning that we were not going to target once specific breed,” said Councilman David Koss.

He said the first law deals with post dog attack consequences. Depending on the circumstances, the dog would be labeled a nuisance, dangerous or vicious. From there, the owner would have to follow specific restrictions like registering the dog with police and making the dog wear a muzzle in public.

The second is considered “pre-bite” legislation. It focuses more so on identifying potentially aggressive dogs. So for example, if someone thought a dog was aggressive, they could call police to investigate. They would then come out and make a determination.

"If they're deemed to be potentially aggressive, we can take preventative measures to make sure there isn't another dog attack,” said Kos.

Those preventative measures would vary as well. But in some cases, the dog may have to stay in a fenced yard or kept on a non-retractable leash when out for a walk. Owners would break those rules could face a fine.

"I would agree that something needs to be done in light of some of the incidences that have happened recently, the only question I guess I have is how they would deem a dog dangerous prior to any attack,” asked Dog Owner Bob Sammon.

Kos said the police department will get the proper training for that. He also said the city is planning to hire an animal control officer to help with investigations.

To learn more about the new ordinances, CLICK HERE.

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