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Doggone good idea for new law

Editorial

Posted: Friday, January 04, 2008

Grace Merkes is proposing an ordinance with some teeth in it.

As headlines across the country splash news of people being attacked by dogs, Merkes has decided to get one step ahead in the Kenai Peninsula Borough and prepare for the worse. Her idea is to create a law aimed at controlling vicious dogs outside borough cities.

The concept will go before the borough assembly Tuesday and asks for the borough to impound and dispose of vicious dogs.

We're not talking about annoying barking dogs, we're talking about dogs that maim or injure human beings.

Merkes, assembly president, said dog complaints got her thinking about those who live outside borough cities. If passed, the law would authorize the borough mayor to seek proposals and enter agreements with public or private entities to provide enforcement services. However, picking up a dog only can be done by request from Alaska State Troopers.

The tricky part may be in defining a "vicious" dog, but Merkes attempts by saying a dog that has bitten any person or persons on one or more separate occasions, causing the skin to break, if the bite occurred without provocation. The label also would apply to any dog that caused serious injury or death to a human being.

Not included are dogs protecting their property against trespassers or those taunted or abused.

While we'd hate to see this proposed law become tested, we applaud Merkes' insight to foresee a potential problem and find a solution before it's warranted.

There's more legalese to look into, but the concept is definitely worth one worth collaring.



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