After delaying a vote in December, the Raleigh City Council on Tuesday is expected to consider imposing harsher punishments on owners of dangerous dogs.
East Raleigh residents have asked for changes for years, and a city committee took up the issue this fall after a pitbull named Pablo attacked a woman and a dog in separate incidents on Millbank Street.
The committee crafted a proposal that went before the council last month but was delayed.
Under the proposed changes, the city would deem dangerous any dog that bites a person or domestic animal without provocation or “has approached a person when not on the owner’s property in a vicious or terrorizing manner.”
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Proposed changes would require people who witness a dog attack to report it to animal control. The proposals also would allow for police to euthanize dogs that attack a person or animal more than once.
Council members at their Dec. 1 and Jan. 5 meetings delayed votes on the proposed changes, saying they needed time to discuss legal questions with the city attorney.
On Monday, council member Corey Branch said city staff had addressed most of his concerns about killing dangerous dogs.
“I needed to make sure that we’d done our due diligence before making that decision,” Branch said, referring to authorizing dog euthanasia by city police.
Other council members were still reviewing the proposal.
Councilman Russ Stephenson said he remained concerned that someone could, even under the proposed changes, return their dog to a faulty enclosure even after the animal is deemed dangerous.
He wondered whether the city should require residents to improve their dog’s enclosure if their dog is captured and declared dangerous.
Stephenson encouraged residents to offer input to city leaders before and during Tuesday’s meeting. He said he wouldn’t mind delaying a vote again.
“I think getting it right is more important than getting it done fast,” Stephenson said.