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Sioux Falls Could Strengthen Law To Euthanize Dangerous Pets

Attack Dog
Justin Sullivan / Getty

The Sioux Falls Public Services Committee will be looking at strengthening the animal control laws concerning the declaration of a pet being classified as ‘dangerous’.

Currently if an animal in Sioux Falls is considered to be ‘dangerous’ only Sioux Falls Animal Control can make the decision to euthanize the animal. The new ordinance would give the city, through the police department, the right to order an animal be put down.

According to the Argus Leader:

Right now, in Sioux Falls if a dog attacks a person or another animal, animal control or police can declare it a vicious dog. That triggers a requirement that the owners maintain at least $100,000 or more worth of liability on the animal, keep it muzzled when in public and post a ‘beware of dog’ sign on outdoor kennels.

Sioux Falls Animal Control responds to approximately 15,000 calls for service each year.  Of course not all of these have to do with vicious dogs.

At the Tuesday afternoon meeting of the Public Services Committee, at Carnegie Hall in Sioux Falls, they will be hearing the proposed ordinance to classify a dangerous animal using Ian Dunbar’s Bite Assessment Scale:

  • Level 1: Dog growls, lunges, snarls-no teeth touch skin. Mostly intimidation behavior.
  • Level 2: Teeth touch skin but no puncture. May have red mark/minor bruise from dog’s head or snout, may have minor scratches from paws/nails. Minor surface abrasions acceptable.
  • Level 3: Punctures ½ the length of a canine tooth, one to four holes, single bite. No tearing or slashes. Victim not shaken side to side. Bruising.
  • Level 4: One to four holes from a single bite, one hole deeper than ½ the length of a canine tooth, typically contact/punctures from more than canines only. Black bruising, tears and/or slashing wounds. Dog clamped down and shook or slashed victim.
  • Level 5: Multiple bites at Level 4 or above. A concerted, repeated attack.
  • Level 6: Any bite resulting in death of a human

Would you be in favor of strengthening the Sioux Falls animal control ordinance and allowing the Sioux Falls Police Dept. or other body to make the decision to have a dangerous pet euthanized?

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