Local Politics

Raleigh council delays debate on tougher rules for dangerous dogs

Posted December 1, 2015 7:51 a.m. EST
Updated December 1, 2015 3:55 p.m. EST

Raleigh toddler seriously injured by dog

— An effort to strengthen Raleigh's dangerous dog ordinance will have to wait until next year.

The City Council was expected to consider a proposal Tuesday that would make it easier to declare a dog dangerous, especially if it attacks another pet.

City leaders were approached about the issue four years ago after residents in east Raleigh complained about several dog attacks.

Last week, a 1-year-old boy was seriously injured after being mauled by a Rottweiler at a home on Euston Street. The boy, who was visiting the area for the holidays, is recovering at UNC Hospitals after having two surgeries, one of which lasted 14 hours.

The Rottweilers possibly responsible for the attacks remain quarantined.

The proposal would clarify the definition of a dangerous dog and a serious injury, and it would outline what actions animal control officials could take when a dog has been declared dangerous.

The proposal also would establish clear restrictions for keeping a dog that has been declared dangerous and an appeal process. According to the proposal, it would be unlawful for a dangerous dog to go beyond the owner's property without the being leashed or restrained and muzzled.

Several council members had questions about the changes Tuesday, so Mayor Nancy McFarlane asked the city attorney to provide answers.

The council will study the issue and consider an ordinance change in January.

In other business, the council voted unanimously to name Councilwoman Kay Crowder as mayor pro tem.

Crowder is starting her first full term on the City Council. She took over the seat from her husband, Thomas Crowder, following his death last year. Thomas Crowder was mayor pro tem at the time of his death.