New rules require registration of dangerous dogs

Tucumcari City Commissioners on Thursday enacted new requirements requiring registration of dangerous dogs.

The ordinance passed unanimously with no discussion.

City Commissioner Robert Lumpkin was absent.

The new set of conditions puts the city in compliance with the state's dangerous dog act, according to the new ordinance.

The eight conditions the owner of a dangerous dog must meet to register the dog in the city under the new ordinance are:

  • The owner is able to keep the dog under control at all times.
  • A license, if applicable, has been issued pursuant to city requirements.
  • The dog has a current rabies vaccination.
  • The owner has a proper enclosure for the dog.
  • The owner pays an annual fee of $100 to register a potentially dangerous dog.
  • The dog has been spayed or neutered.
  • The dog has been implanted with a microchip containing owner identification information that is also provided to the animal control authority.
  • The owner has entered the dog in a socialization and behavior program approved or offered by the animal control authority.

If a dog declared potentially dangerous does not demonstrate dangerous behavior for 36 consecutive months, the owner may request the city animal control officer lift the dangerous dog requirements, the ordinance says.

The animal control officer may also register a dangerous dog to its owner if all the previous conditions have been and:

  • The owner has paid the annual fee to register a dangerous dog
  • The owner has written permission from the property owner or homeowner's association where the dangerous dog will be kept, if applicable.
  • The dangerous dog will be maintained exclusively on the owner's property except for medical exams and treatment
  • When the dangerous dog is removed from the owner's property, the dog shall be caged or muzzled and restrained with a leash no longer than four feet, and under complete control at all times.
  • The dangerous dog will not be transported in a vehicle that might allow the dog to escape or gain access to any person or animal outside the vehicle.
  • The property on which the dangerous dog is kept is clearly posted with a warning clearly visible from 50 feet or a public roadway, whichever distance is less, that there is a dangerous dog on the premises.

Failure to comply with these restrictions could result in the animal control officer ordering an immediate impoundment or humane destruction of a dog previously determined to be dangerous.

Under city law, "Dangerous dog" means a dog that caused a serious injury to a person or domestic animal, unless:

  • The dog was used by a law enforcement official for legitimate law enforcement purposes;
  • The threat, injury or damage was sustained by a person or domestic animal who was trespassing upon premises occupied by the owner or the dog;
  • The injury or damage occurred due to provoking, tormenting, abusing or assaulting the dog;
  • The injury or damage occurred to someone who had repeatedly, in the past, provoked, tormented, abused or assaulted the dog;
  • Or, the injury or damage occurred to someone committing or attempting to commit a crime.

A dog that causes serious injury to a person or domestic animal also will not be termed dangerous if the dog was responding to pain or injury; protecting itself or its offspring; or protecting or defending a human being or domestic animal from harm.

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