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Bitch Noone Wanted
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Bay County makes 'dangerous dog' guideline changes
Updated at 08:27 PM today

BAY COUNTY (WJRT) -- (07/12/11) -- In Bay County, many are attempting to decide what makes a dog dangerous.

Some leaders believe it should be based on behavior and not breed. A public hearing was underway at the Bay County Building to discuss proposed changes to the Animal Control Ordinance. Commissioners are hoping to make citizens safer.

Fifth District Bay County Commissioner Ernie Krygier is leading the charge to make changes to the Animal Control Ordinance. "You can't legislate common sense, but I certainly can legislate responsibility. That's what we are going after."

Bay County dog owners have their own opinions on the matter. "I agree with it. I think it is a brilliant idea, because it makes more people responsible for their pet's actions, and their own actions," said Dog Owner Cindy McLachlam.

"I think it should stay breed specific ... It seems like pits and shepherds and those dogs are most often involved," continued Phyllis Trepkowski, dog owner.

Commissioner Krygier hopes dog owners will take notice. "It certainly does shore it up, to make sure people understand that there are consequences for their pet's actions."

The Bay County Commissioners unanimously voted to make changes to the Animal Control Ordinance after a public hearing Tuesday afternoon. Of all the changes to the ordinance, two seemed to be the most talked about.

The first ordinance modification changes the way the county defines 'dangerous' or 'vicious' dogs. The current ordinance wording labels all Pitbull's as 'vicious.' Changes eliminate the wording and label any dog that shows aggression towards people or other domesticated animals or one who attacks as 'vicious.'

Also being reworked are the owners' responsibilities. Currently, dog owners face civil infractions. The new rules will mean repeat offenders could be charged with a misdemeanor. That type of criminal charged could mean up to 90 days in jail and/or up to $500 in fines.

Krygier calls the changes a 'win-win' for dogs and citizens. She hopes the changes will encourage responsible dog ownership.

Dog owners who spoke at Tuesday's public hearing agreed vicious dogs should be defined by behavior, not breed.

A date for when the ordinance changes go into effect was not discussed at the meeting.

Bay County attempts to change 'dangerous dog' guidelines | abc12.com
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