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County Considering New Law for Dealing With Vicious Dogs

Supervisors may approve a website that identifies dangerous canines.

Patch file photo
Patch file photo

By City News Service

The Orange County Board of Supervisors Tuesday will consider a revised ordinance revamping how vicious dogs will be defined and dealt with, including the creation of a website that identifies dangerous canines.

The ordinance would define "provocation" in an incident involving a dog and to "broaden the definition of a severe injury to include injuries with broken bones and multiple bite wounds," according to a staff report to the supervisors.

The ordinance would also allow for the release of some dogs back to their owners during an investigation, which would save the county money in boarding and caring for the animals.

Supervisors may also approve a new website that would act like the Megan's Law site bearing photos of registered sex offenders, said Ryan Drabek, director of Orange County Animal Care.

Dogs accused of being vicious would be labeled Level 1, 2, or 3, Drabek said. A Level 3 Dog could be euthanized, Drabek said.

However, the owners of a Level 3 dog would still have the right to ask for an administrative hearing, and, if it is still ordered to be euthanized then the owner could appeal to a judge in Orange County Superior Court, who would make the final ruling, Drabek said.

The board is being asked to consider a "first reading" of the proposed ordinance, meaning if it approves then it would have to vote on it again at a future board meeting.

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