City's Campaign Hopes To Warn Pet Owners of New State Law - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/18/07

City's Campaign Hopes To Warn Pet Owners of New State Law

Dog owners beware. Beginning September 1st, if your dog attacks someone away from your property, you could face jail time if convicted.

Dangerous animal calls are up twice what they were last year at this time. Just in the last week, two people were sent to the hospital after two separate dog attack incidents.

The city hopes a new campaign will make people aware of the consequences they could soon face.

Two German Shepherds remain in the custody of Animal Services awaiting their dangerous animal hearing, which will determine their fate.

Just last week, one of the German Shepherds allegedly attacked a Lubbock postal carrier, sending him to the hospital where he received 100 stitches in his face.

Two days later, the other German Shepherd, allegedly, attacked a 31-year-old Lubbock woman. She underwent surgery for bites to the right shoulder and both legs.

The dogs face possible euthanization however, their owners would not face any legal repercussions.

Had this happened September 1st or later, the two dogs wouldn't be the only ones in the doghouse. Their owners could also find themselves also sitting behind bars. 

The City of Lubbock is doing its part to get the word out in a 30 second spot that will start airing on local television stations next month.

"If you do have a dangerous animal and it does attack someone away from your property, then of course, you're looking at some jail time, criminal charges, being filed up to twenty years in prison if your dog attacks someone and takes their life," Director of Lubbock's Animal Control Kevin Overstreet said.

If an animal doesn't kill but seriously injures someone, its owner could face 3rd degree felony charges and up to 10 years in prison. It's not likely the judge will throw you a bone if your animal attacks another person, a reason why you should simply obey the law.

"They need to make sure their animal is secure in their home and when they do get them out that they make sure they are on a leash," Overstreet said.

Or be ready to pay the consequences.

And don't forget new state law or not, a city ordinance requires all dogs to be on a leash. If they're not, owners could receive a Class C misdemeanor and a fine up to $200

The commercials were filmed Wednesday afternoon, just 24 hours before three dangerous dog hearings here in Lubbock.

NewsChannel 11 will bring you the latest on those Thursday on the news at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

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