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Dangerous Dog Ordinance Debated


For hours Monday night, the Eau Claire City Council heard from people about a proposed dangerous dog ordinance.
The city says it's trying to better define what a dangerous dog is and what steps to take, to make sure people are safe.
The City Council members were full of questions about the proposal.
Some say the city needs to adopt some kind of ordinance defining dangerous dogs, while others say the proposal in front of them is not clear enough.
There were many people at the meeting tonight, inlcuding one dog that the owner says is not dagerous.
The proposal defines a dangerous dog as one that bites or injures a person or another animal, approaches in a menacing manner, acts in a manner that is a threat to public safety, or if it is used or trained for dog fighting.
According to the proposed ordinance, any dog deemed dangerous would have to be spayed or neutered, be microchipped for identification, the owner would have to carry liability insurance, and the animal would have to be confined while on the owners property.
Gary Kent said, "I think it's the city council's responsibility to protect the people in eau claire from those viscious dogs, and i strongly encourage you to support this."
Council member Toby Biegel told the crowd, "A dog runs over to the fence, doesn't mean its aggressive, but that person might be scared. And that's where my hesitation comes from. Can the ordinance be used as a weapon?"
According to the proposed ordinance, the police department would be responsible for enforcing the ordinance if passed by the council.
We talked to Police Chief Jerry Matysik tonight at the meeting.
He said as the proposed ordinance is written right now, his department would not be able to do that, because of staffing issues.
The City Council could decide at Tuesday's city council meeting.


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