Vicious dog law provides acceptable preventative measures
Although it is sure to alarm some, the new city ordinance adopted by the Eudora City Council Tuesday should not concern responsible pet owners.
The ordinance provides the means to identify vicious dogs, impound them and -- ultimately -- destroy them. It contains provisions that establishes fines for non-compliant owners .
Dog owners, aware that the careless and mean spirited can provoke aggression from a normally friendly pet, are probably leery of the new law. Unlike measures in some cities that seek simply to ban specific breeds, the ordinance seeks to identify only those animals deemed to be vicious. It provides safeguards that should protect responsible pet owners. Dogs won't be found vicious if they attack someone who provokes or torments them or those who trespass on the pet owner's property.
On the other hand, dog owners who allow their animals to run wild, provoke attacks on individuals, or train dogs to fight, would lose their animals after a judicial process and face fines.
The stimulus for the ordinance came from Lawrence, not Eudora. The larger city has exhibited evidence of dogfighting rings. But, as the death of a Kansas youngster several years back in a town much smaller than Eudora demonstrated, a community without a process to deal with dogs with a history of aggression can face tragedy.