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Hobart to take another look at dangerous dog laws
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Hobart to take another look at dangerous dog laws

  • Updated

HOBART | Resident Dave Richter is asking city officials to put some bite into laws governing dogs that might be considered dangerous.

Richter recently told the City Council he's fearful for his own safety and that of his family after a next-door neighbor bought a pit bull.

The pit bull, although now just a pup, is growing quickly and soon may be able to jump over the neighbor's fence, Richter said.

He asked city officials to make more stringent rules about housing a breed of dog he considers dangerous.

"If there is nothing on the books, maybe there should be. One bite from the dog would kill my 80-year-old dad or my young granddaughter. All it takes is one bite and you're done," Richter said.

The City Council directed code enforcement to take a look at the neighbor's fence to see whether it's adequate in height.

City Councilwoman Monica Wiley, D-at large, said officials should consider placing a hefty fee on licensing for certain breeds of dogs considered dangerous or vicious.

"Tack on a $500 fee. It's that simple," Wiley said.

Wiley four years ago began her push for stronger ordinances concerning the definition of a dangerous animal.

She also was pushing to make it mandatory that dangerous dogs be identified with iridescent tags and owners pay fees that could fund bonds to protect dog bite victims.

Richter isn't the only resident who has complained about dangerous dogs and asked officials to strengthen laws.

Last March, resident Alan Beckler came to the City Council to say he still suffers from injuries after a dog jumped a fence and attacked him while he was walking in his neighborhood.

Beckler asked officials to vote against a proposal to use a portion of Fred Rose Park as a dog park, even if the property is fenced off.

He said the dog that attacked him had been behind an 8-foot chain-link fence and jumped over it.

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