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Under a new city ordinance, owners of “dangerous and potentially dangerous” dogs in Wichita, Kansas will be required to post warning signs on their homes.
Police Capt. Michael Allred, who runs the city Animal Control Department explained that under the ordinance, any dog, regardless of size or breed, can be deemed “potentially dangerous” if it bites someone and leaves a mark, or if it kills a cat or other domestic animal.
Prior to the revised city ordinance, the ‘dangerous dog’ designation was only given to dogs that either instigated an unprovoked attack or for bites resulting in serious injury.
The revision was put into place in an attempt to decrease the number of dog bite reports. With an average of 1,000-1,100 reported bites each year, Wichita is ranked 23rd in the country for bites on postal workers.
In addition to the required ‘dangerous dog’ sign, revisions to the ordinance include:
• Increased fines for dogs running at large.
• Increases in the minimum fines for allowing a dog to attack or bite.
• Appeals of dangerous dog designations will be heard by judges in Municipal Court instead of animal control.
• A prohibition on transferring a dangerous dog to someone else without written permission from the court.
• Establishing a misdemeanor for failing to comply with orders from Animal Control or the court in dangerous dog cases.
• Setting an annual license fee of $50 for dogs deemed potentially dangerous and $300 for dogs deemed dangerous.
• A ban on exotic animals including alligators, caimans, crocodiles, turtles, monitor lizards, iguanas, tegus, anacondas, boa constrictors and pythons (except for the ball python).
The revisions were decided by a 10-member subcommittee of the Animal Control Board who debated for more than 9-months before reaching a unanimous decision.
What’s your opinion? Will a required sign help to reduce the volume of dog bites in Wichita? Would you support a similar ordinance in your own city? Weigh in with a comment below!