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Health Department Reminds Residents about Dangerous Dog Ordinance

pit-pull-attackMASON CITY – Due to a recent increase in dog bite cases, the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health wants to remind residents about the “Dangerous Dog Ordinance” that was implemented in 2013.

The “Dangerous Dog Ordinance” was passed to protect the public. It provides a process that can be followed and legally enforced to deal with dog bite incidents, or cases where dogs have not bitten but behaved aggressively. The ordinance provides guidelines to dog owners of the responsibilities and liabilities they have as the owner. For example, all dogs in Cerro Gordo County must wear an identification tag that tracks the name and address of the dog owner and current vaccination records.

The ordinance also details the definition of a “potentially dangerous dog” vs. a “dangerous dog”. It is required that all dog bites be reported immediately to the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health by the dog owner or local law enforcement. The ordinance also explains the restrictions and penalty process for dogs labeled “potentially dangerous” or “dangerous”. Fines for violating the ordinance can be assessed up to $1,000 or 30 days imprisonment.

“Our goal is to keep residents and their families’ safe,” said Brian Hanft, Deputy Director, Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health. “This ordinance provides dog owners with rules to be followed, and a written penalty process should an incident occur.”

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