The Mayor of Fort Dodge wants to change the city’s dangerous-dog law, and he’s introduced a proposal before the city council. Mayor Gail Van Alstine says right now as he understands the law, even a dog that would attack or even kill someone would only bring a misdemeanor citation to its owner. And he says the city’s animal-control officer can’t declare a dog dangerous until it’s actually bitten someone. Under Mayor Van Alstine’s new proposed ordinance, the animal-control officer will have more leeway to address the issue of dangerous animals, and send the owner a letter telling them to take the animal out of the city or make sure it’s securely confined. A new category, “homicidal animal” is created for any pet that tries to kill a person, and the law would let the city take such an animal and put it to death, though the proposal also includes an appeals process. The first week in October, a dog running loose was attacked and killed in Fort Dodge by four pit-bull terriers that were also running loose. The city council will give a second reading to the ordinance next week.
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