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Tag: confined

County looks at giving dogs a second chance

Dogs that attack or threaten people or other pets in Washington County, Maryland, would get 18 months to improve their behavior before being labeled “vicious and dangerous” under changes to the 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 proposal at their meeting Tuesday, according to the Hagerstown Herald-Mail.

The proposed change creates a separate designation for “potentially vicious and dangerous animal,” under which¬†first-time offenders could take steps to get the label lifted.

Once designated “potentially vicious and dangerous,” an animal would have to be kept confined and would have to complete an approved training course, if ordered. The owner could also be ordered to take a “good citizenship” course. If there were no additional attacks within 18 months, the label would be lifted.

“Vicious and dangerous” animals¬†must be kept confined and muzzled, and animal control officers may impound them if they are in violation. If the owner does not appeal within a specified time period, the impounded animal may be disposed of, the ordinance says.