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Proposed ordinance could ban ‘vicious’ dogs from Corpus Christi

Posted at 10:16 PM, Mar 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-19 23:16:16-04

The City of Corpus Christi could pass a new ‘vicious dog’ ordinance.  The new ordinance would impose stricter penalties on dog owners whose dogs attack other animals.

Currently, the City already penalizes residents if their dog attacks a person. Some of those penalties include:

The dog owners must purchase $100,000 of liability insurance that specifies: coverage for damages resulting from an attack by the dangerous dog causing bodily injury to a person; registered dangerous dogs must wear large tags stating they are dangerous as well as green colors at all times and the address and description of the dangerous dog will be publicized. If these animals attack again, they could be put to sleep and the owner charged with a crime.  If a dog attacks another animal, the owner is fined.

Under current city ordinances, dog owners with dogs that attack other animals only pay a fine.  But Mike Gillis, Director of Animal Care Services wants to change that.  He says his employees respond to at least two calls a month about a loose dog attacking and killing a family pet.  Gillis wants pet owners held accountable for these attacks.

The ordinance CCACS is proposing would result in court appearances and the possibility of an owner having to get rid of their dog.

Under the new guidelines, Animal Care Services would respond to an initial call of an animal attack. From there, ACS workers would obtain proper paperwork proving the injury or death of another animal and take that case to court.  A judge would decide if a dog is “vicious.”

“The owners would either have to re-home that animal outside of city limits, or they could have to turn it over to Animal Care Services and then Animal Care Services would work with rescues and adopters outside of the city to take that dog,” Gillis said.

That owner would then have ten days to find the dog a new home or surrender it to Animal Care Services.

Council Members unanimously passed the first reading of the ordinance Tuesday.