AKRON, Ohio — Authorities have announced changes to the City of Akron’s policy when it comes to the handling of vicious dog attacks.
In the past, animal control officers only responded to a reported dog attack if there was still a threat to the public. If the dog was already contained at the time of the call, animal control officers did not report to the scene.
From now on, Akron city officials said animal control officers will respond to any vicious dog attack as soon as they are notified.
The change comes in the wake of a pit bull attack on Sept. 19 near the intersection of Dietz Ave. and Stanton Ave. in Akron.
An adult and two children suffered injuries in the attack.
Akron city officials met with police captains and an animal control officer on Friday to address the necessary procedure changes.
“Upon review of the incident, I really feel we needed a change of policy so our residents do not feel like the city didn’t respond because it occurred at night and was inconvenient,” said John Valle, Akron’s Director of Neighborhood Assistance. “Nothing is further from the truth. We do care and we are changing our policy immediately to address this concern.”
In another change to the city’s vicious dog attack policy, Akron Police will now notify animal control officials about the attack directly.
According to city officials, in the past, police on the scene would notify Safety Services, who would then contact animal control.
“A direct conversation between the animal control officer and a police supervisor who is at the scene of the attack is the best method to communicate the seriousness of the incident,” said Valle. “It seems that the gravity of the attack, or the immediacy of action, may get lost in translation when the message is delivered to a call taker, and then relayed to the animal control officer.”