Mayor readies rules for dog ownership

Omaha could have tougher rules on dog ownership within the next 45 days. Mayor Mike Fahey announced what is contained in a proposed vicious dog ordinance today.
“The amendments and additions I am proposing, if approved, will make our dog ordinance one of the most comprehensive and aggressive in the nation.”
Judy Varner with the Nebraska Humane Society says the new restrictions are in addition to current rules on the books regarding the confiscation of dogs that have bitten people.

“If someone has found guilty, on three separate occasions within a 24 month period, they will be declared a reckless owner and we will take their animals.”
Varner says ultimately, the owner is responsible for the animal.
“We are going after the owners. Omaha is going to say either do what you need to do to keep our citizens safe or we will remove your dogs.”
Mark Langan with the Humane Society says the rules will hopefully reduce the number of animal bites in the city.
“We can identify that dog, prior to that dog biting somebody. Put that dog under certain restrictions to hopefully prevent that dog from biting in the future.”
The proposed ordinance requires that dogs can not be tethered outside for longer than fifteen minutes, one hour if a trolley system is used. When the dog is taken off the owner’s property, it would have to be in the control of someone 19-years of age or older and be leashed and muzzled. A dog can also be deemed as dangerous even if it has not bitten anyone. The new ordinance will need the blessing of the Omaha City Council.