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Owners of vicious dogs can't get another dog - OC supervisors

July 18, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Orange County is getting tough on owners of vicious dogs by approving an ordinance to prohibit them from getting another dog.

Supervisor Patricia Bates introduced the ordinance after residents in a Trabuco Canyon neighborhood complained that a pit bull owner had used his dog to terrorize them.

At a supervisor meeting in June, Trabuco Canyon resident Katie McCarthy said a neighbor's pit bull got loose and attacked a neighbor and a dog in mid-March. McCarthy said the neighbor kept hiding the dog when O.C. Animal Care tried to impound the dog.

When the dog was finally impounded, McCarthy said the owner just got another pit bull. Then, the impounded dog was eventually returned to the owner, leaving the owner with two pit bulls total. McCarthy said one of the dogs jumped a neighbor's fence again and attacked another dog.

O.C. Animal Care says the new ordinance will be a good tool because it gives the agency the authority to prohibit a scofflaw from owning another dog if one of their pets is deemed dangerous.

Under current law, when a dog is declared vicious or dangerous, the county can force owners to house the pet in a specialized facility or post a "beware of dog" sign.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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