Tucumcari commissioners pass 'dangerous dog ordinance' - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Tucumcari commissioners pass 'dangerous dog ordinance'

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An update to an old ordinance in Tucumcari could mean changes for a few dog owners there.

Recently, Tucumcari City Commissioners unanimously approved a new set of requirements for owners of "potentially dangerous dogs". Now, those owning potentially dangerous dogs will be required to obtain a license for the dog, register it with the City for an annual fee of $100, have it properly enclosed, spayed or neutered, plus have a current rabies vaccination. These updates will put the City in compliance with the state's Dangerous Dog Act.

"This is done for the betterment of the community and not as a hindrance or to tie anybody's hands," said Deputy Chief of Police for the Tucumcari Police Department, Pete Rivera. "They did this for the betterment of the community and to make it a little bit easier for Animal COntrol to enforce these rules and regulations."

If the dog has attacked a person or another animal, the ordinance considers it dangerous. But even "potentially" dangerous dogs can fall under this ordinance and if it's called into question, an Animal Control official will make the decision.

"German shepherds, rottweilers, pit bulls are automatically seen as aggressive and vicious animals and that's not necessarily the case," explained Deputy Chief Rivera. "So we have to assess each case as it comes to us."

The update to the ordinance isn't just about protecting people and their animals, officials said. It's also aimed at curbing animal neglect or mistreatment.

"We have to watch out for people like that," said Deputy Chief Rivera. "They just get dogs and they don't take care of them and these dogs end up becoming strays and they're running around and they become vicious."

"A lot of people are getting mad at certain dogs because they're mean," added city commissioner Jimmy Sandoval. "But I guess it's because of the way you treat them."

All to help keep everyone, pets included, safe and accountable.