Minnersville, Pennsylvania is in the process of strengthening its ordinance regulating animals in the city. This specifically applies to dangerous dogs. The ordinance was recently given at a council meeting, when police Chief Michael Combs prompted the move after dog bite incidents have occurred several times in the area.
Throughout the summer in Minnersville, there have been three major dog bite attacks including a pit bull that turned on its owner's three children, a bit pull that bit an 8-year-old boy after the animal was fighting with another dog and a dog that escaped from its home and bit an 80-year-old man.
The ordinance has hopes to control these dangerous dogs and to receive attention from residents in the area.
"That made us look at our ordinance to see if it was strong enough because we had some incidents here in the borough with dog bites," Combs said. "Let's face it, if a dog bites a kid, then you could have permanent damage."
The amendment to the current ordinance is planned to be approved during a council meeting this month. The ordinance has details on how people with vicious dogs must deal with this and what happens in the case of a dog bite.
According to the amendment, a dangerous dog is any dog that bites, inflicts injury, assaults or otherwise attacks a human being without provocation.
The original proposal uses specific dog breeds, pit bulls and rottweilers, but breed-specific terms cannot be used in the proposal. There will be revisions before the final ordinance is approved.
Combs said that he has seen dogs of these breeds be very kind to children so it depends more on how the animal is trained and raised.
"They were slobbering all over me," Combs said. "We opened the cruiser car door and they jumped right in."
The ordinance also requires that anyone who owns a dangerous dog register it with the Minersville police or it will be seized and detained by the animal control officer or the borough police. It also states that there much be signs warning people of a dangerous dog on the property. There are many other conditions of the ordinance that are to be followed after it passes.
Seattle just implemented a new dog bite ordinance. Dog bite attorney Chris Davis believes this is a step in the right direction but there are still many gaps for the consequences of a dog bite.
The City Council's toughening of the law broadened the definition of "severe injury" to require only one broken bone, or one disfiguring wound that requires medical attention such as sutures, steri strips or staples. The expanded definition also includes permanent nerve damage.
Click here to read Mr. Davis’ commentary on Seattle’s new dog bite ordinance.
Contact Davis Law Group at (206) 727-4000 if you were injured in a dog attack in Washington State.