The city of Paris is cracking down on dangerous dogs, according to Mayor Daniel Rogers.
"There seems to have been an influx recently of these dogs coming into the city," Rogers said. "I’ve been getting regular reports about these dogs and it’s been more recently than at any time in the last four years. The owners need to know that they can either comply with our dangerous dog ordinance or get rid of the dogs."
In 2005, the Paris City Council passed an ordinance regulating the housing of "dangerous dogs" in the city. Under the terms of the ordinance, a dangerous dog is defined as any dog with a "blood-line relation" to the American pit bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire bull terrier or any wolf or wolf hybrid or any dog that exhibits aggressive or dangerous behavior that could result in serious injury or harm to any person or domestic animal."
Violating the ordinance is a Class A misdemeanor punishable upon conviction with one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
There are some stipulations in the ordinance in which a dangerous dog can be housed within the city limits. Those stipulations are:
• The dog owner must be at least 18 years old;
• The dog owner must have a liability policy of at least $250,000;
• The dog must be registered with the city’s Animal Control officer and the registration fee is $55 for each dog;
• The dog owner must post a sign, readable from the street, advising the public that a "dangerous dog" is being kept at the premises;
• When outside, the dog must be confined within a securely enclosed and locked pen with the sides and top secured;
• If inside, it is the dog owner’s responsibility to see that the dog can’t get out;
• The dog can’t be kept on a porch or patio or inside a garage unless they are secure;
• If outside a residence or secure enclosure, the dog must be on a strong and secure leash and "properly muzzled" and handled by a person of adequate age and size to control the dog.
Rogers said there will be consequences for violating the ordinance.
"If they don’t comply with the ordinance, we’re going to fine them and, if needed, we’re going to keep fining them," he said.
Rogers said that last week, police officers were sent to two residences where dangerous dogs were reported.
Rogers also said he recently got a phone call about a dangerous dog, sent police to the residence and discovered the dog was in possession of someone who had previously had a dangerous dog taken from them.
"If a resident sees one of these dogs, call us and let us know, Rogers said.
Roge" also said that the city is cracking down on dogs that are running loose.
"The law requires that dogs be on a leash or in an enclosed area if they’re outside," Rogers said.