OKC looks to crack down on ‘menacing’ dogs

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Members of the city council plan to present an idea they say will protect neighborhoods from dangerous, menacing dogs.

The proposed ordinance, which is on Tuesday's city council agenda, would create a dangerous dog registry, updated annually, for animals picked up by animal control.

"We are trying to make sure that dangerous dogs in our city are accounted for," said Ward 7 Councilman John Pettis, one of three authors of the ordinance. "We don't want any dangerous dog to run free in our city. So we are holding owners of those dogs accountable for when they run free in the neighborhoods."

Among the proposals:

  • Spay or neuter all impounded dogs before they are allowed to be released, unless the owner can prove it is a pure breed
  • Owners of animals running free will be required to register the animal and pay a $12 fee before reclaiming it
  • Menacing or dangerous dogs are required to be registered annually
  • All impounded animals will be micro-chipped before the owner can reclaim them
  • Owners must provide proof of an adequate enclosure, in good repair, before the animal can be released
  • Impose larger fines and allow for jail time for owners

According to the ordinance, a dog is defined as "menacing" if it "destroys property, i.e., a fence, in an attempt to get to a human or domesticated animal." The animal can be considered menacing whether it is on or off its property, according to the ordinance.

The idea for the ordinance comes after dogs killed Cecile Short near N.W. 122nd and Council in April. The owner of the dogs, one of which was killed at the scene, is facing criminal charges.

"I do believe this ordinance would have made some type of impact because this is an instance where we've heard the owner of the dogs was aware his dogs were getting out," Pettis said. "So this in my view would have hopefully avoided what happened."