WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Dogs that attack or threaten people or other pets would get 18 months to improve their behavior before being labeled permanently as a "vicious and dangerous animal" under changes to the Washington County animal control ordinance proposed Tuesday.
Currently, animals can be labeled "vicious and dangerous" after only one attack, which has led to protests from owners who say their pets were otherwise well-behaved, said Paul Miller, executive director of the Humane Society of Washington County, which enforces the ordinance.
The Washington County Commissioners discussed the idea and other proposed changes at their meeting Tuesday, and agreed to hold a public hearing on the proposed changes.
A date for the hearing has not been set.
The change, drafted by Assistant County Attorney Kirk C. Downey, would create a separate designation called "potentially vicious and dangerous animal," which Downey described as a "purgatory level" for first-time offenders that might be able to benefit from training for the animal or education for its owner.