Home>775Times>Washoe County Has Implemented a New ‘Dangerous Dog’ Ordinance

Washoe County Has Implemented a New ‘Dangerous Dog’ Ordinance

By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, November 17, 2022 10:42 am

RENO, Nev. (775 Times, NV Globe) – Washoe County now has a new ‘dangerous dog’ code that governs whether aggressive or violent canines may be returned to their owners.

It affects a small number of canines judged dangerous by law enforcement or animal services, generally after biting someone or attacking other dogs or animals.

According to Robert Wooster, a longtime field supervisor with Washoe County Regional Animal Services, the latest revisions to the rule are intended to assist keep dangerous pets safely with their owners.

Previously, he noted, many hazardous dogs could not be returned by their owners, who struggled to comply with onerous requirements in a limited 30-day window.

The former regulation required owners to have a specialized, unique enclosure erected at their property. The required enclosure size was dictated by the animal’s size – some had to be 30 by 20 feet.

“It’s a kennel that (had) to be specifically built, it (had) to be buried into the ground or have a footer that goes into the ground. The chain-link (was) much thicker than standard chain-link you could get at a hardware store,” Wooster said.

Many dog owners attempted to contact fencing firms to get this precise enclosure made, but were met with months-long wait times. As a result, the canines were “very regularly” surrendered to animal control, according to Wooster.

However, under the new rule, which was enacted by Washoe County commissioners this autumn, owners are just need to purchase a 10 by 5 foot kennel, which can be obtained at numerous home improvement stores and fits in most homes.

“If you live in an apartment, you (couldn’t) build a kennel. If you live in a condominium, you (couldn’t) build a kennel,” he said.

According to Wooster, the new ordinance makes it easier for all dog owners, particularly those with small backyards, to comply.

Wooster believes it will help keep dogs in their homes and minimize the number of dangerous pets destroyed because their owners are unable to comply with the code.

I am confident that fewer dogs will be killed since individuals will be able to comply much more easily. As a result, I believe it will keep animals at home.

Other changes made in the new dangerous dog ordinance:

  • A new, more severe type of ‘vicious’ dog has been formed. ‘Dangerous’ dogs can be rehomed if their owners cooperate, but ‘vicious’ dogs cannot.
  • Previously, all ‘dangerous’ dog owners were obliged to have $250,000 in liability insurance.
    Now, ‘dangerous’ dog owners only require a $150,000 liability coverage, whereas ‘vicious’ dog owners need a $250,000 policy.
  • To notify law enforcement and first responders, standard animal services notice must be put at the houses of dangerous and aggressive dogs.
  • Enclosures for dangerous and ferocious dogs can now be installed within the owner’s house.
  • Dog owners may be granted an additional 30 days to comply by animal services.

Other minor adjustments to the ordinance were made by county officials. Click here to see the complete list of changes.

WATCH the meeting of the county commission where the ordinance was first discussed:

Credits: FoxReno

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