MAURICE, La. (KLFY) – A new ordinance is taking effect in the village of Maurice for dogs that could be a threat to people, property, or other animals. Before the adoption of this new law, the only law on the books for the municipality was a leash law. Mayor Wayne Theriot says he wanted more protection in terms of animal safety in the community and also wanted to end a problem before it began.
Municipalities are responsible for crafting their own ordinances, but the village decided to adopt the parish law. The Vermilion parish ordinance is different in the sense that vicious dogs are not based fully on the breed but on the actions of the animal. In the ordinance, a dangerous dog is defined by:
- Any dog which has a propensity, tendency, or disposition to attack without provocation, to cause injury, or to otherwise endanger the safety of human beings, pet animals, or livestock.
- Any dog which is a breed that its propensities for violent actions are known or should be reasonably foreseeable.
- Any dog kept primarily to guard public or private property which is not owned by a law enforcement agency.
A vicious dog is defined by:
“Any dog that while at large has, without provocation, inflicted bodily injury upon or has caused the death of a person, pet animal or livestock, or any dog which on private property, without provocation, approaches in apparent attitude of attack, or bites, or inflicts injury upon any meter reader, delivery person, service person, mail carrier, or other person who is on the property of the owner or keeper of the dog who is there by reason of business or with invitation of said owner of keeper.”
If your animal is deemed dangerous by the statutes of the ordinance, there are a few simple rules that you must comply with.
Theriot states that most of the actions needed to be in compliance fall under being a responsible dog owner.
“Keeping the dog until control, whether it be on a leash while out, or in an enclosure, like a fenced yard,” says Theriot.
For dangerous dogs, the ordinance states that it is unlawful for the owner, or keeper, of the dog to:
- Have the animal on their property without securing the dog from public contact by confining the dog in a manner approved by the Animal Control officer that shall prevent the entry of the general public and preclude any release or escape of the dangerous dog
- Have the animal on their property without warning the public about the presence of the dangerous dog by posting visible and legible signage on and around the property such as “BEWARE OF DOG” or another appropriate verbiage.
- Have the animal off their property unless the dog is securely muzzled and adequately restrained on a leash.
There are a few exceptions including a dog working livestock, locating or retrieving wild game in season for a licensed hunter, assisting law enforcement officers, or an animal that is physically or electronically secured within the confines of the real property of its owner or keeper or other real property that the owner or keeper has permission to use. The animal can also be in a motor vehicle, excluding an unleashed animal in an open bed of a truck.
For dogs deemed vicious, the ordinance states:
“It shall be unlawful to own, keep, or possess any vicious dog. Any such vicious animal may be taken and impounded by the Animal Control officer whenever a violation has occurred in the Animal Control officer’s presence, or whenever a citizen has registered a complaint, that adequately establishes probable cause, after performing an investigation, the Animal Control officer is of the opinion that the situation requires that the dog be impounded to protect the safety and well-being of humans and/or other animals.
You can go to Maurice City Hall for a full copy of the ordinance or call 337-893-6406 with any additional questions or concerns.