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Public hearing goes to the dogs in South Boston

Residents will have an opportunity tonight to comment on a proposed amendment to town code regarding dangerous and vicious dogs during South Boston town council’s monthly meeting.

The session is set to get under way at 7 p.m. at council chambers on Yancey Street.

South Boston town council studied amendments to town code defining dangerous or vicious dogs at its July work session meant to add more teeth to the law and bring it into compliance with that of the state.

Police Chief Jim Binner told council he knew of at least four incidents where pets have bitten people or other animals, adding the amendments are designed to better define “vicious” or “dangerous” dogs.

Dangerous dogs would be defined as a canine or canine crossbreed that has bitten, attacked or inflicted injury on a person or companion animal that is a dog or cat or killed a companion animal that is a dog or cat.

Vicious dogs would be defined as a canine or canine crossbreed that has killed a person, inflicted serious injury to a person or continued to exhibit the behavior that resulted in a previous finding by a court on or before July 1, 2006 by an animal control officer as authorized by ordinance that it is a dangerous dog, provided that its owner has been give notice of that finding.

Amendments to the ordinance would require the owner of any animal found by a court to be a dangerous dog to obtain a dangerous dog certificate from the town’s animal control officer at a cost of $150 within 45 days of such a finding.

All dangerous dog certificates would be renewed annually by Jan. 31 of each year for a fee of $85.

Also on council’s agenda tonight is a budget carryover request from Town Manager Ted Daniel for $374,408.02 in funds for the Washington-Coleman Community Center project; and an appointment to fill a vacancy on the Industrial Development Authority.

A public comment period is set for the end of tonight’s meeting.