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South Boston sets forth definition of dangerous dog

SoVaNow.com / August 15, 2013


South Boston Town Council members have approved an amendment to the Town Code which clearly defines three terms — dangerous dog, serious injury and vicious dog.

According to the amendment enacted Monday by Council, a dangerous dog means a canine or canine crossbreed that has bitten, attacked, or inflicted injury on a person or companion animal that is a dog or cat; or killed a companion animal that is a dog or cat.

Serious injury mean an injury having a reasonable potential to cause death or any injury other than a sprain or strain, including serious disfigurement, serious impairment of health; or serious impairment of bodily function and requiring significant medical attention.

Vicious dog means a canine or canine crossbreed that has killed a person, inflicted serious injury to a person or continued to exhibit the behavior that resulted in a previous finding by a court on or before July 1, 2006 by an animal control officer as authorized by ordinance that it is a dangerous dog, provided that its owner has been given notice of that finding.

The amendment also says the owner of any animal found by a court to be a dangerous dog shall within 45 days of such finding, obtain a dangerous dog registration certificate from the Town’s animal control officer for a fee of $150 in addition to other fees that may be authorized by law. The animal control officer shall also provide the owner with a uniformly designed tag which identifies the animal as a dangerous dog.

Also, the owner shall affix the tag to the animal’s collar and ensure that the animal wears the collar and tag at all times.

The certificate must be renewed annually by January 31 of each year for an $85 fee.

The ordinance became effective immediately upon its passage.

In other business at Monday’s meeting, Councilman Bill Snead moved to approve the carryover of $374,408 to the new FY 2014 budget year. The money was not spent for capital improvements on the Washington-Coleman Community Center during the past fiscal year, but will be needed to cover the remaining bills on that project which is expected to be substantially completed by the end of August.

Council also approved the appointment of George Burton to fill the seat vacated by the death of Jim Burton on the Town’s Industrial Development Authority. Councilman Coleman Speece moved for Burton’s appointment, saying he felt he would be “a fine addition and would give the job his best.”

Councilman Bob Hughes was absent from the August Council meeting.

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