Jackson proposes 'vicious dog' legislation
JACKSON TWP. A feisty Fido could cost you money — and your pooch — if it attacks.
Proposed "vicious dogs" legislation was introduced Monday night by township trustees. A vote will be taken Oct. 14.
Trustee John Pizzino said trustees have been crafting the legislation for several months as a proactive measure for dog attacks. "It is good legislation, " he said.
The law defines a vicious dog as "a dog that, without provocation, has killed or caused serious physical injury to any person or to another dog."
It does not target any specific breeds, such as pitbull.
Pizzino said the Stark County Dog Warden would enforce the legislation, if enacted.
The legislation comes with registration requirments, as well as penalties.
If passed, dog owners moving into Jackson Township or after an attack event must register the dog with the Police Department and pay a $25 fee.
Proof of current dog license, vaccinations, microchip identification and certificate of "Canine Good Citizen" recognized by American Kennel Club also would be required. Liability insurance would be a must.
Exempted from registration would be:
• Kennel owners
• Individuals housing or treating vicious dogs for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
In most cases, Law Director Neal Fitzgerald said, owners of a vicious dog would get notice that they must register, especially after an attack.
If he/she doesn't and another attack occurs, penalties include a $100 fine for first offense and a $200 fine for each subsequent event.
Any person found guilty would pay all expenses, including shelter, food, boarding and veterinary expenses caused by seizure of the vicious dog. Plus, if registration requirements cannot be met, the court could order the dog be put to sleep or removed permanently from the township.
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