EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – Following several dog attacks in the city, the Eau Claire City Council is voted in favor of making changes to the current Dangerous Dog Ordinance.
The idea was sparked by a case brought to council members Dave Duax and Kathy Mitchell. An Eau Claire woman and her husband’s cat was mauled and killed by two vicious dogs. Officers said the dogs were pit bull and terrier breeds that escaped from a nearby neighbor’s yard. The dogs were declared dangerous because several cases of attacks involving the two dated back to last year.
Officers said the dogs had to be impounded for ten days before the owner chose to euthanize one and move the other out of the city. But that rule had since changed.
“Currently if a dog is declared dangerous, the owner has ten days to either have their dog euthanized or remove it from the city limits. So we're changing that from ten to five days,” said council member Mitchell.
She said the city council voted to reduce the waiting period to remove the dog from the city to five days which could help the victims have a peace of mind sooner.
“So they are not wondering what’s going to happen to the dog. Secondly, it saves the police department quite a lot of time,” said Mitchell.
It would save time for Senior Community Service Officer Andrea Lichtl who deals with animal cases every day. Lichtl said there are around six to 11 animal related cases per week in the city.
“We’ve had a large amount of bite cases lately and then those get reviewed to see if the dogs should be considered dangerous,” she said.
A dog must have two bite cases to be deemed dangerous.
“Looking back at the case, maybe the behavior of the dog, how the dog acted or what happened in the case. What lead the dog to biting somebody or chasing after somebody just acting viciously?”
There’s also a technical correction in wording of the ordinance that approved.
“The way the ordinance reads right now, the police department can either impound the dog or declare it dangerous and that really wasn't the intent the police should be able to both impound the dog and declare it dangerous at the same time,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell says she hopes the change in ordinance will help ease the pain for victims of dog attacks.
“It just took a lot of effort and time to resolve this issue and we're just trying to say, let’s shorten that time for everybody’s sake,” said Mitchell.
A human officer and a dog trainer we spoke to both agreed on the changes.
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