After months of discussions, the City Council voted Tuesday to approve changes to Raleigh’s rules on “dangerous dogs.”
Under the change, a dog is considered dangerous when:
▪ the Animal Control Division has determined that it has killed or inflicted serious injury to someone without provocation;
▪ the dog is owned primarily or in part for dog-fighting or any dog trained to fight;
▪ the dog has bitten someone and the incident has resulted in broken bones or disfiguring lacerations or required cosmetic surgery or hospitalization;
▪ the dog has killed or inflicted serious injury on a domestic animal when not on the owner’s property;
▪ the dog approached a person when not on the owner’s property in a vicious or terrorizing manner in an attitude of attack.
For years, East Raleigh residents have asked city leaders to crack down on dog owners whose pets run free, bite or terrorize others. The council began looking at the issue in October and delayed a vote multiple times.
The rule change also clarifies restrictions for keeping a dog that’s been declared dangerous and defines what actions the Animal Control Division should take when a dangerous dog is found outside its property or seriously injures a person or domestic animal.
Mayor Nancy McFarlane has stressed that the point of the change was to ensure dogs don’t bite twice, but she also wanted ways for Raleigh police to get repeat dangerous-dog offenders off the streets without killing them.
Staff writer Paul A. Specht contributed to this report.