Lenoir City leaders consider vicious dog regulations

LENOIR CITY (WATE) – Lenoir City could soon have a new ordinance on the books aimed at vicious or potentially dangerous animals. It’s still in the draft stage, but WATE 6 On Your Side wanted to find out how big of a problem it really is.

According to Loudon County Dispatch, the Lenoir City Police Department responded to four calls for dog bites last year, but 252 calls related to animals.

The proposed ordinance gives Lenoir City police officers the power to take care of vicious animals that attack or threaten other animals or people without a warrant.

Web Extra: Read the full draft ordinance [PDF]

Some Lenoir City residents think the ordinance is a good idea.

According to Loudon County Dispatch, the Lenoir City Police Department responded to four calls for dog bites last year, but 252 calls related to animals.
According to Loudon County Dispatch, the Lenoir City Police Department responded to four calls for dog bites last year, but 252 calls related to animals.

“I think with a school right up the neighborhood, this is a kid-friendly community. And if there is vicious dogs in the area, the police should have every right to investigate it and get the dogs off the street,” said Todd Butler.

The way it’s written now, the ordinance would require people who have vicious animals to keep them confined, put up a visible warning sign and keep the animal leashed and muzzled when it goes outside of the home.

If the owner doesn’t follow those rules, police can impound the animal, or the Lenoir City judge can have it killed.

The proposed ordinance gives Lenoir City police officers the power to take care of vicious animals that attack or threaten other animals or people without a warrant.
The proposed ordinance gives Lenoir City police officers the power to take care of vicious animals that attack or threaten other animals or people without a warrant.

Butler says he doesn’t think there is a huge problem with vicious animals in the area, but he thinks this could be a good ordinance to have on the books just in case.

“Once in a while you see them running around. I haven’t seen any vicious dogs in this neighborhood, but if there is some vicious dogs I feel the police should have the rights to get them off the streets. That’s part of having a dog. You’ve got to have the ownership and take care of the dog as well,” said Butler.

The ordinance still has another reading and a public hearing on February 9 before the commission can vote on it, so some of the language can still change.

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