Newschannel 6 is looking for answers about Wichita County's policy on vicious dogs. A man says he tried to follow the policy and his dog was still put down. The Health Department says it is not specific to breed but is considered if a dog has bitten someone.
Once a dog has the declaration, the owner has 15 days to meet a certain set of rules in order to keep the animal. "If they appeal and the court upholds the vicious ruling there are several requirements they have to meet. One thing is to have additional liability insurance on the animal the 2nd is to have an enclosure where the animal can be confined at all times either in the home or in an outside enclosure, post warning signs saying the dog is a vicious dog and they also have to have ID tattooed into the dogs ear," explained Lou Franklin, Director of Health.
Jason Lucas says he worked to meet the requirements, but says they were just too tough and he ran out of time. "They put him down, last Tuesday, with no regrets," said Lucas.
Jason installed a kennel complete with vicious dog sign. He worked with an insurance agent to find a $100,000 liability policy with a $1500/year premium. The biggest hurdle he said was finding a vet that would tattoo his dogs ear something he says many vets told him was inhumane and possibly illegal. The one local vet he says he found that would do the operation limited him to four characters per ear. The ordinance requires an entire driver's license number.
"I fought City Hall. You can't fight City Hall and win, no matter what they say," said Lucas.
The Health Department says Lucas is the first person to challenge a vicious ruling in recent memory, and they are open to considering a change in the rules to consider other forms of ID such as a microchip.