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St. Paul ordinance targets owners of problem dogs

  • Article by: Myron P. Medcalf
  • Star Tribune
  • April 26, 2007 - 9:28 PM

The St. Paul City Council unanimously passed an ordinance Wednesday that bans some owners of problem dogs from getting dog licenses in the future.

Council President Kathy Lantry pushed for the change because a dog owner in her East Side ward has had nine of his dogs removed and destroyed.

She said that the ordinance was not a response to a number of recent dog attacks in the Twin Cities. The most recent was Monday, when two dogs attacked a woman on the East Side. The woman was treated at Regions Hospital for her injuries.

Under the new ordinance, dog owners who have had one or more dogs removed by animal control officers in separate incidents in a five-year span won't be allowed to own a licensed dog in the city. Lantry said the new law will give animal control officials another option when dealing with owners of vicious dogs, she said.

State law doesn't allow cities to ban certain breeds, said Council Member Jay Benanav, but Council Member Dan Bostrom said council members should take a closer look at that law in case they want to challenge it in the future.

"What's going on here is just totally unacceptable," he said. "These are some powerful animals that are really doing a lot of damage out there."

Council Member Dave Thune, however, said that other breeds can be just as vicious if they have negligent owners.

"There's no reason to single out breeds," he said. "I've been chomped by black labs."

 

Myron P. Medcalf • 651-298-1546 • mmedcalf@startribune.com

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