Provo Council to consider vicious-dog measure

Published July 2, 2008 1:07 am

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PROVO - Municipal Councilwoman Midge Johnson's crusade against vicious dogs is going to have to wait two more weeks.

The council voted Tuesday night to review Johnson's proposed dog ordinance at its July 15 work meeting because there was not enough time during Tuesday's work session to review the changes Johnson was making in her ordinance.

Johnson said she proposed the ordinance after her constituents reported problems with vicious dogs menacing their neighborhoods. While the concerned residents wanted a ban on pit-bull terriers, Johnson said she was advised by a veterinarian to not go with a breed-specific rule since it is hard to clearly define what is a pit bull, as well as the fact that most dog problems are related to the owner's behavior and not the animal itself.

The proposed ordinance would create two categories of dogs: at-risk and dangerous. At-risk dogs would be those that display physical aggression and tend to menace people or attack domestic animals. A dangerous dog would be either an animal that has injured a person or one that was used to commit a crime.

Johnson proposed changing the ordinance to strike running at large as a definition of an at-risk dog, as well as provide a means for a dangerous dog to be declassified if its owner takes the dog to training and there are no more incidents during an 18-month period.

"We believe repentance is great, even for dogs," Johnson said.