Oklahoma City Considering Sterilization, Other Animal Control Law Changes Tomorrow- June 20

The Oklahoma City Council is holding a public hearing TOMORROW (Tuesday, June 20) on a proposal that would require the mandatory sterilization and other actions for dogs deemed to be “menacing” or “dangerous”.

The Oklahoma City Council is holding a public hearing TOMORROW (Tuesday, June 20) on a proposal that would require the mandatory sterilization and other actions for dogs deemed to be “menacing” or “dangerous”.   

Summary of Proposed Changes:

The proposed amendments, which are in response to a tragic death of a local resident by a dog, would impose strict requirements on dogs considered “menacing” or “dangerous”.   Current law defines “dangerous” as a dog that inflicts an injury as a result of an unprovoked attack, or attempts to bite or attack a person and they are required to take an evasive action.  A dangerous animal may also be one that kills, bites, or attacks another animal unprovoked.   The definition of “menacing” in this proposal would include a dog that growls, shows teeth, or destroys property in an attempt to get to a human or domestic animal.  This does not include a dog on the owner’s personal property, “unless attempts to escape appear to be reasonably likely to be successful.”

Any dog considered to exhibit any of these actions must be immediately impounded and be sterilized and microchipped prior to its release.  An exemption may be given if the owner can provide “satisfactory proof of pure breed status as verified by the American Kennel Club or similar entity”, or if a veterinarian certifies in writing that sterilization would be harmful to the animal. 

Current law allows for an investigation and hearing prior to a final determination of a dangerous dog, and this proposal would extend this to dogs exhibiting menacing behavior.  A judge may impose the same requirements on a dog determined to be menacing as a dog considered dangerous, including no contact with other animals or humans, or mandatory muzzling and confinement.

What You Can Do:

The AKC strongly believes owners should be responsible for their animals, and should be held accountable should their pets seriously injure or attack another person or domestic animal.  However, mandatory sterilization and other requirements may not always be appropriate for a dog that growls or shows its teeth one time.  Instead, AKC believes there should be a graduated scale of requirements, such as mandatory dog training, for dogs exhibiting menacing behavior one time, with stronger penalties for dogs continuing to exhibit dangerous behavior. 

This proposal will have a public hearing on June 20, and likely be scheduled for a vote on July 5, 2017.

Those who reside and own dogs in Oklahoma City are encouraged to do the following:

Attend tomorrow’s city council hearing:
Oklahoma City Council public hearing
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
8:30 am
200 N. Walker, 3rd Floor, Council Chambers

Contact the members of the Oklahoma City Council:

Councilman James Greiner - ward1@okc.gov - (405) 297-2404
Councilman Ed Shadid - ward2@okc.gov - (405) 297-2402
Councilman Larry McAtee - ward3@okc.gov - (405) 297-2402
Councilman Todd Stone - ward4@okc.gov - (405) 297-2402
Councilman David Greenwell - ward5@okc.gov - (405) 297-2569
Councilwoman Meg Salyer - ward6@okc.gov - (405) 297-2404
Councilman John Pettis - ward7@okc.gov - (405) 297-2569
Councilman Mark Stonecipher - ward8@okc.gov - (405) 297-2569

Online form: https://www.okc.gov/residents/action-center