Like many cities across Nebraska, Omaha has a dangerous dog ordinance to protect the public. The Nebraska Humane Society is in charge of following up on reports and issuing citations to pet owners who are breaking the law. The 2008 ordinance orders owners of pit bulls or other bully breeds to be properly leashed, harnessed and muzzled while in public. The dog must also be in control of a person 19 years of age or older. Spokesperson Pam Wiese says they just released their citation report through the 3rd quarter of 2011 and they issued 60 citations to pit bull owners who failed to muzzle their dog in public. She says they are taking these regulations seriously.
The law also states that pit bull owners carry 100-thousand dollars liability insurance. Through September 30th, 40 citations were issued to these dog owners who failed to prove they were doing so.
Weise says they also declared 46 dogs as potentially dangerous but this actually isn’t bad news for pet owners. She says this is simply a heads up to take action so the dog doesn’t hurt anyone.
Wiese says they also determined 18 pet owners were reckless. That means they didn’t take their dog inside when it was barking, left their tied outside for extended periods of time without supervision, fail to clean up after a pent while walking, letting a dog run loose or leaving them in hot cars. If a dog owner is found guilty of any of these and other charges, they are not allowed to own pets for several years.
Wiese says so far this year seven pit bulls have passed their ambassador program where owners have shown their animals are not dangerous and do not have to be muzzled in public. The dogs are identified by given an orange vest to wear when around others.