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Lancaster cracks down on owners of vicious dogs

City officials approve an ordinance that also will require the mandatory sterilization of pit bulls and Rottweilers.

January 29, 2009|From Times Staff Reports

Despite fierce criticism, Lancaster officials have unanimously adopted an ordinance that will impose stiff penalties on the owners of "potentially dangerous" and "vicious" dogs, particularly those that law enforcement officials say are favored by gang members to intimidate rivals and others.

Under the new law, dogs that are unprovoked and engage in aggressive behavior, may be found to be "potentially dangerous." Dogs that are trained to be aggressive for fighting, inflict severe injury or death, or already are listed as potentially dangerous may be determined to be "vicious."

The ordinance also will require the spaying and neutering of all varieties of pit bulls and Rottweilers, including mutts that have "predominant physical characteristics" of those breeds.

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