Long Beach : Vicious-Dog Law Sent Back

After an hour of sometimes-heated debate, the Long Beach City Council on Tuesday night decided it needs more time to study a law that would make owners of vicious dogs liable for the actions of their pets.

Some council members thought the six-part proposal too lax; others thought it too stringent. So the council sent the proposed ordinance back to its three-member legislation committee, which last week recommended that dog owners be held criminally liable for vicious dogs.

The proposal also would change the way a vicious dog is handled. Under the current ordinance, an animal is not destroyed unless it attacks a second time. Under the proposed revision, an animal could be destroyed after its first attack following a formal hearing with the city's superintendent of animal control.

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