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City Discusses How to Handle Potentially Dangerous Dogs

(Fort Wayne - WANE) People in Fort Wayne had a chance to voice their opinions on how to deal with potentially dangerous dogs and their owners. A panel called the "Dangerous Dog Input Group" hosted the public meeting Thursday night. Its job is to give the city ideas on how to help prevent dog attacks.

About 50 people attended the meeting, including Katie Krueger. She says, "We need to focus on the irresponsible owners, not the breed itself. It's not the dog's fault." Others agreed. "Dogs are not born evil. They're made evil from people who treat them badly," said Dottie Carpenter.

The Dangerous Dog Input Group was formed earlier this month to address the problem of violent dogs. It had originally considered a recommendation to ban certain breeds, such as pit-bulls, from Fort Wayne. The committee has now decided a ban should not be necessary, but that steps need to be taken now so a plan is in place later.

"It's interesting what the public has to say. I'm proud to be part of a community that's looking at this issue pro-actively rather than reactively," says Belinda Lewis from Animal Care and Control. "We've seen a trend across the country that a tragedy causes knee-jerk reaction. It's important that doesn't happen in Fort Wayne."

Some things the group will consider includes leash laws, and a possible requirement for some animals to be spayed or neutered. But many people say it comes down to responsible owners and public awareness. "We need greater cooperation with the owners, stricter leash laws, serious repercussions for owners of pets that do attack, and stepped up efforts to educate the public," said Lori Thomas.

http://www.wane.com/global/story.asp?s=7235181

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