VERONA – With more walkers outside in the nice weather, Verona officials are asking dog owners to keep their dogs on a leash or behind a fence, especially those considered vicious.
Verona Mayor Robert Trice said they aren’t just talking about pit bulls when they talk about vicious dogs.
“It’s not just pit bull dogs, it could be a German shepherd or Rottweiler,” Trice said. “It’s any dog that shows aggression, even a Chihuahua.”
He said he and other city officials have received multiple complaints of stray and aggressive dogs from residents in recent weeks.
Trice and the Board of Aldermen have given their animal control officer and law enforcement officials the go-ahead to aggressively cite dog owners who are not properly restraining vicious dogs or who are allowing their dogs to run loose.
City ordinance requires all dogs considered vicious, which means they act aggressively, threaten, terrorize or bite without provocation, to be registered for a permit with the city.
Owners of vicious dogs also must post warnings on their property and keep the dog confined in a permanent structure such as a home or a four-foot high fence with a concrete floor and covered roof.
When outside of the home or enclosure, vicious animals should be secured on a leash or chain under direct control of the animal’s owner and securely muzzled.
Trice said the city has been taking applications for additional animal control officers.
“If you have what’s classified as a vicious dog, you must come into compliance or you will be cited and the dog will be taken from you to the humane society with the owner being responsible for all expenses,” Trice said. “If you can’t comply with the codes, then you should let the dog be adopted by someone who can take care of the dog. Either way, it’s got to stop in Verona.”