An old city ordinance in St. Martinville is getting a revamp.
Police Chief Ricky Martin said the city’s old dangerous dog ordinance is being re-tooled in an effort to prevent incidents with dogs.
The new system would not be aimed at any particular breed, he said. Other cities that have tried to enforce breed-specific ordinances have been sued, the chief said, and there are other problems. Not the least of these problems is how a city can properly identify, and prove, the breed of a particular dog, he said. And, he said, not all dogs of a certain breed are dangerous.
What Martin wants to do is prevent any dangerous dogs from injuring people or other animals, he said.
The new system would create a three-person committee, with one member being a veterinarian. If a resident feels a dog is dangerous, they would make a complaint to the committee, and the members would examine the circumstances and test the dog. If the dog is determined to be dangerous, the owner would have to meet certain requirements to keep it, Martin said.
Those requirements include wearing a special tag, special fences and/or kennels, and short leashes and muzzles for walks, the chief said. The dog’s owner also would be required to carry at $100,000 liability insurance policy, he said.
"This would happen on a complaint basis – we’re not going out looking for pit bulls," the chief said.