Legislative update - January 2011

Cities in Wisconsin and Illinois both passed "vicious dog" measures in recent days, and one city in California is considering a similar law, according to media reports.

The town of Sheboygan, Wisc., passed an ordinance this week that regulates "dangerous and vicious" dogs. Owners of dogs that have injured or attacked a human must pay $75 to the city and register the dog with local law enforcement, the Sheboygan press reported. Such owners must also present proof of insurance and keep the dog in a secure pen or indoors.

The Illinois Peoria Journal Star reported that the Morton Village Board approved a similar ordinance, which spells out how a dog or cat can be declared dangerous or vicious, describes requirements that must be met for the owner of a dangerous or vicious animal to keep the animal, and lists penalties for violations ranging from $75-$750.

Meanwhile, the city of Barstow, Calif., is voting this week on an ordinance to regulate "potentially dangerous or vicious dogs," according to the Desert Dispatch. The Barstow ordinance would update an existing ordinance from the 1960s that only covers "vicious" dogs. Under the ordinance, "potentially dangerous dogs" include those that bite a person, kill or injure another pet off the owners property, or "engage in behavior toward a person which requires defensive action on two separate occasions off the dog owners property within a three year period," according to the article.

NEWStat Legislation & regulation