LEAGUE CITY — The city is one step closer to making it easier to get dogs deemed dangerous off the streets. The City Council gave initial approval to a tougher vicious animal ordinance Tuesday.

Under the new rules, a dog declared dangerous dogs must-have a microchip tag implanted, wear a fluorescent orange collar that identifies the animal as dangerous and up-to-date photos of the animal would be on file with the city’s animal control.

Any dog declared dangerous also would be held at the city’s animal shelter until a court hearing is held to determine the dog’s future.

The dog’s owner would be required to send letters to all residents within 200 feet of where the animal lives that a dog deemed vicious lives nearby.

The revised ordinance also would ban any animal from living inside the city limits that was declared vicious or dangerous and was involved in an attack that caused serious injury or death of a person in another city.

City Manager Mark Rohr said that final rule may prove “tough to enforce,” but said a dog owner who is found to have violated the ordinance would face stiff penalties and risks losing the dog.

The ordinance, which also broadened the definition of what makes a dog vicious, comes about three months after a pit bull mauled a 2-year-old girl at a League City apartment complex.

The dog that attacked Mackenzi Plass and her mother, Chelsi Camp, 23, in March was a pit bull that belonged to Camp’s boyfriend. That dog was shot by police during the attack and later euthanized.

Dogbites.org, an advocacy group that tracks dog attacks in the United States, estimates that more than 80 percent of dog attacks that result in bodily injury come from pit bulls.

While pit bulls are considered more dangerous in many people’s minds, Rohr made it a point to note that the ordinance is not and won’t be breed-specific.

“All of the rules are based on the dog’s behavior,” he said.

For one, state law forbids breed-specific rules and secondly, Rohr said it covers any dog that could attack someone.

The new ordinance, which requires another council vote before becoming law, is aimed at keeping League City “an animal-friendly community that values our (residents) and their companion animals,” Rohr said.

By passing the ordinance, the city is hopeful that “responsible pet ownership will result in a safer environment for both people and pets,” he said.

Contact Mainland Editor T.J. Aulds at 409-683-5334 or tjaulds@galvnews.com.

(7) comments

Kim Etheridge

Well this is clear as mud. How in the world are they going to enforce this? We need to know exactly what a dog must do to be declared dangerous. It's a little bit late after a pit bull has chewed a child's face off. Insurance companies in Texas have no problem being breed specific in refusing homeowner's insurance coverage for breeds they deem dangerous. It sounds like we need to make changes at the state level to give cities the ability to be breed specific.

Gary Miller

Un Enforceable?
Bad dogs are the product of bad owners.

Can any dog be identified as dangerous before doing something harmful?
People are required to have insurance if they want to drive. Why not require insurance to own an animal which could be dangerous? The insurance companies will set premiums according to the likelyhood the dog might be dangerous. Also owners should be held accountable for violations by their dog. Something like a stiff fine if the dog is loose in public. Or pooping anywhere except the owners property.

Kim Etheridge

OK fine. Let's chip and collar the owners too. It will make dangerous circumstances a lot easier to identify.

George Croix

Good idea.
Let's also require all people who might be dangerous to carry liability insurance against harming others...
Bad dog ordinance?
Needs to be one word long.
Dog bites somebody - Police change it's life status to dead.

All that all of this other distraction does is make money for insurance companies and beaurocrats, and lawyers.

Richard Worth
Richard Worth

Let me make sure I have this straight. The anti Big Government council is going to solve the problem by covering it with layers of unenforceable bureaucracy? How very Democratic...

Mick Phalen

I wonder what will happen the first time a couple of pit bulls with bright orange collars show up in the Mann Memorial Dog Park?

Mick Phalen

Tifosi, a Council made up of a former aide to Jack Brooks and three "tea partiers" supported by Texas Trial Lawyers; catering to every special interest that wears the same color tee shirt to City Council meeting --- "Democratic" is a good description.

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