Ratings for dangerous dogs to change in Orange County?

ORANGE, Calif.

The board agreed to change what defines a vicious dog, opting to rate dogs in a three-level category instead.

A level-one citation would include a dog that causes a person or an animal to take defensive, protective or fleeing action, or bites someone without provocation causing a minor injury.

A level two would include four separate unprovoked incidents or a bite causing substantial injury.

Level three would be the most dangerous dog.

"So a dog who kills a human being or causes severe injury to a human being, that's a level-three dog," said Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer.

Animal-control officials already have the power to euthanize an animal involved in a severe attack.

The public may not be able to log on to a website to locate where vicious dogs live but they can still find out where recent incidents have taken place.

"They can contact our agency and find out if there's a specific area they want to know where these dogs are located, they can contact us and our custodian of records and find out that information," said Ryan Drabek, director of OC Animal Care.

Final ordinance approval is set to take place in January when the board meets again.

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