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OKC amends menacing dog ordinance, seeks public input

OKLAHOMA CITY — City leaders have made changes to clarify a proposed ordinance, that seeks to control dangerous and menacing dogs here.

The ordinance, first introduced at last week’s city council meeting, establishes a registry of dangerous dogs. It also requires a spay or neuter procedure and a microchip for every animal officers impound.

City councilmembers are taking action after two dogs killed a woman and her dog in April.

Amendments seek to better define “menacing behavior.”

“The dog has to exhibit specific behaviors: growling, snarling, charging, those kind of things,” said Jon Gary, superintendent at OKC Animal Welfare. “Obviously the menacing is there in place to catch it before an attack happens and so that’s the purpose behind that ordinance.”

Officers will investigate each animal on a case-by-case basis, Gary said.

Animal Welfare anticipates an increased workload and cost to comply with the ordinance, at a time when the department is already stretched thin.

Purchasing additional microchips alone is estimated to cost $15,000.

“It’s going to be tough,” Gary said. “We are going to have to find ways to get creative, work with our partners more. Funding is an issue at times so we have to get creative sometimes with that and other means of funding. It is a struggle with the number of staff we have and the volume of calls we receive every year. Getting to all these calls is going to be tough.”

The City Council is holding a hearing at Tuesday’s meeting so the public may weigh in.

Pet owners told NewsChannel 4 previously there are reasons they both support and oppose the proposed ordinance.