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By Andrea Papagianis
Orange County will not set up a website for dangerous dogs, much like those for sex-offenders, after supervisors Pat Bates, John Moorlach and Shawn Nelson voiced concerns with the site’s establishment, maintenance and potential to stigmatize pet owners.
The board unanimously approved a tiered standard last Tuesday for dealing with dogs posing a threat or inflicting harm on humans and other animals, but did not take the website into consideration.
Supervisor Todd Spitzer raised concerns in September, leading Ryan Drabek, the county’s animal care director, and his staff to establish new standards. The adopted resolution clarified the county’s definitions of “potentially dangerous” and “vicious” dogs.
Dogs that, without incitement, have caused minor injuries to humans or seriously injured or killed another animal, twice within 36 months, could be labeled “potentially” dangerous under the county’s definition. Vicious dogs include any canine trained for fighting or that cause severe injury or death to humans.
The resolution allows the animal care director to impose restrictions and conditions of owners of potentially dangerous and vicious labeled dogs, including requiring liability insurance of upward of $100,000, sterilization, posting of public warnings, restraints and muzzling.
Owners whose pets are deemed dangerous reserve the right to a hearing and can appeal the decision in an Orange County Superior Court.