OKLAHOMA CITY – A proposed ordinance that would target dangerous dogs in Oklahoma City limits was approved by the city council on Wednesday.
Since two dogs attacked and killed 82-year-old Cecille Short in April, city leaders have been working on a proposal to make sure that something like that never happens again.
The owner of the dogs that killed Short is now facing charges, but city leaders wanted to put an ordinance in place that would impose penalties on pet owners prior to an attack.
The ordinance would create a registry of dogs deemed dangerous or menacing, and it would impose stricter penalties on the owners of the animals. Dogs could be considered menacing if they snarl, growl or charge at someone, or if they damage property as they attempt to reach someone.
If a dog is listed on the dangerous or menacing list, owners would have to pay $12 a year in registration fees.
Dogs impounded at OKC Animal Welfare would also be microchipped and fixed before they are returned to their owners. The return is contingent upon a secure enclosure at the owner’s residence.
“We’re to the point where we have to do something,” Jon Gary, superintendent at Oklahoma City Animal Welfare, told NewsChannel 4 in June. “It’s going to allow us to better manage the dangerous and menacing animals that we have here. I think it’s going to be beneficial to our citizens and to the animals that live in Oklahoma City.”
While officials at animal welfare said the ordinance could cost more money up front, they believe it will ultimately help the community.
On Wednesday, the city council voted to pass the ‘dangerous dog’ ordinance.
It is expected to go into effect within the next 30 days.