The City Council has given preliminary approval to a local ordinance making it easier for La Mirada to take action against dangerous dogs.
Under the proposed law, after the first biting incident a dog could be subject to a local hearing process to determine whether the dog is vicious and what should be done with it. City officials say La Mirada now relies on a state law that requires two separate biting incidents.
The ordinance, approved unanimously on first reading, would allow a dog that bites a person or an animal to be impounded or confined at home until a hearing is concluded. A local hearing officer would consider such factors as whether the dog had bitten before, whether it was provoked, how seriously the victim was injured and whether the dog could be retrained.
If a dog is declared vicious, the city could order the owner to keep it confined or muzzled, or ask a Municipal Court judge to order the dog destroyed.