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Dogs that attack livestock may be labeled as dangerous, obligated to wear muzzles

City News Service | 9/3/2013, 4:21 p.m.
Los Angeles Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance that enables animal control officers to catch dogs that attack farm animals and consider those attacks in deciding if the dog is a threat to public safety.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance today that enables animal control officers to catch dogs that attack farm animals and consider those attacks in deciding if the dog is a threat to public safety.

Dogs that go after horses, sheep, goats and other livestock often end up attacking pets and people, according to county animal control officials.

Under the new ordinance, if dogs try to attack livestock, animal control personnel can take the dog away from its owner and start a process to determine whether it is “potentially dangerous.”

If found “guilty,” the dog can be required to wear a muzzle and its owner may be forced to buy liability insurance, among other restrictions. If other violations occur, a vicious dog may be destroyed.

The ordinance also increases the time for owners to appeal a court order or give notice they will contest the results of an administrative hearing, from five to 14 days.

The board’s vote was unanimous.