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City leaders will get a report Tuesday highlighting whether Raleighs rules on dangerous dogs have enough teeth to protect residents.
The report from city attorneys comes eight months after a neighborhood off North Raleigh Boulevard complained of a series of dog attacks that left pets and people injured. Neighbors say the citys current rules less punitive than the countys ordinances in some respects leave them vulnerable to the areas vicious dogs.
Sue Sturgis, a member of the East Citizens Advisory Council, said the group formed a committee last week to recommend solutions. We plan to read the city staffs report and then decide on next steps, she said. We do intend to communicate our satisfaction and/or dissatisfaction with the reports recommendations to city officials.
Raleigh City Council members voiced interest in revising the rules when the complaints were on the agenda last June. But since then, theres been little further discussion on the issue.
As things stand now, Wake Countys law is both more specific and more punitive than city ordinance.
For example, owners of dangerous dogs that bite humans in the countys jurisdiction are fined $500 for the first offense, with the dog euthanized after a 10-day waiting period for possible appeal. Owners of dogs who attack other animals get a smaller fine.
In the city, when a dog bites another domestic animal or a person, the fine is up to $500 for a criminal violation, with civil penalties from $50 to $250. The city also prohibits public nuisance animals, which include dogs repeatedly found off-leash or vicious animals that repeatedly attack. But vicious dogs can be kept for personal protection as long as they are securely confined.
Teresa Washburns chihuahua was among those attacked last year, and she said the larger dogs owner was never penalized. All of us hope that a growing, progressive city like Raleigh can do better, she wrote in an email to city council members. Please enact a real law with real authority to back it up. Please dont put this issue on the back burner or let it get lost under a stack of papers.