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It’s a dog’s life: dogs get dogged by new ordinance

Vicious dog caught stealing car.
Vicious dog caught stealing car.
Jamie Anderson/Flickr

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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has just approved a new measure that grants animal control officers a greater amount of freedom when determining if a dog is vicious. K9 prisons, rehab and therapy ruled out as options – dogs, more often than not, face one punishment: euthanasia. Among other new qualifiers, “vicious dogs” now encompass those that inflict “serious illness or injury.” This is in contrast to the typical definition of vicious – the causing of fractures, lacerations or muscle tears. Some are concerned that innocent dogs will face unnecessary deaths. Others believe that this will give dog owners more incentive to keep their rowdier pets in line. What do you think about the changes?


Jill Ryther, attorney specializing in animal rights and family law

Marcia Mayeda, director, animal care and control for Los Angeles County