Vicious vs. dangerous dogs - KLFY News 10

Vicious vs. dangerous dogs

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Vicious versus dangerous dogs was a hot topic at the Vermilion Parish Police Jury meeting. Police jury attorney, Paul Moresi, said a vicious dog generally causes injury to humans or other animals unprovoked, especially when the animal is away from its owner. Moresi said a dangerous dog has a different meaning.

"A dangerous dog generally is one that tries to do that or has threatened to do that so to speak, but hasn't actually accomplished that," said Moresi. Moresi says a distinction between the two terms needs to be made clear. It leaves room for question as to what is provoked and what is not.

"Some of the incidents that you've dealt with were clearly unprovoked, some of them were clearly provoked, but there's a whole lot in the middle that's open to interpretation," said Moresi. This follows a recent meeting discussing the euthanization of one family's pet dog, Gates. Gates was deemed vicious by the Vermilion Parish Rabies Control Center after biting a child. The shelter then decided to put the animal down, despite having the option to quarantine under veterinary care.  Gates' owner, April Lancon, said the director denied the request.

However, one police juror said other opinions should be needed to make such decisions. "When it's a dog bite, and if its someone's pet, have a third party veterinarian or professional other than ours or the owners make that determination and follow our procedure," said Police Juror Errol Domingues.

Once the discussion was over on recommended changes to the ordinance on vicious dogs, the final decision on whether or not to euthanize Gates was made. "The police juror did overturn the decision and Gates will be coming home," said Lancon.

Lancon said she is very grateful to the police jury for their decision.

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