LONG BEACH — Dog owners could face up to six months in jail if their pets bite or threaten any person or animal, according to a proposed ordinance designed to prevent the kind of vicious dog attacks that have occurred throughout the state.
But the version recommended by the City Council's Legislation Committee on Wednesday did not include a controversial provision that would have required owners to obtain liability insurance for their vicious dogs.
Instead, the committee agreed to strengthen the city's current dog ordinance to include, among other things, holding dog owners criminally liable for attacks. Under the proposal, allowing a dog to bite a human or another animal would be a misdemeanor and the dog owner would be subject to a maximum $500 fine and a six-month jail term, said Councilman Evan Anderson Braude, who heads the legislation committee.
The proposed ordinance is expected to be considered by the full council next month.
The committee also plans to recommend that the council change the way a vicious dog is handled. Under the current ordinance, the animal is not destroyed unless it attacks a second time. Under the proposed revision, the animal could be destroyed after its first attack following a formal hearing with the superintendent of animal control, Braude said.