HomeCity NewsBurbank Animal Shelter Requests Dangerous Dog Ordinance

Burbank Animal Shelter Requests Dangerous Dog Ordinance

The Burbank City Council is set to host a public hearing at its Feb. 27 meeting to discuss an ordinance that empowers the Burbank Animal Shelter to handle aggressive dog cases throughout the city.

“Over the years, the city of Burbank has experienced a rise in cases of aggressive dogs that have caused harm to members of the public,” Burbank Animal Shelter Superintendent Brenda Castaneda wrote in a report to the City Council.

Castaneda said that the behavior of these dogs — some of which are stray, while others have owners — has led to serious bodily injury, and that the shelter has more than two dozen cases on record. Now, the shelter is seeking approval from the City Council to allow its staff to manage vicious dog cases more directly by cutting red tape from the process.

The current system for managing these dangerous animals “is extensive” and requires the city attorney’s office to prepare declarations and petition the Los Angeles Superior Court for a hearing, Castaneda said.

Hearing dates are usually set several weeks out while dogs are impounded at the shelter and all parties involved await resolution.

“Should an owner with a potentially dangerous dog want to bypass the hearing process, they currently have the option to enter into an agreement with the Burbank Animal Shelter for three years outlining terms and conditions as: microchipping, quarterly inspections of the owner’s residence and a securely fenced yard,” said Castaneda.

Owners of a potentially dangerous dog would be required to muzzle the animal while out in public, and the dog must be restrained by an appropriate length leash controlled by an adult.

The shelter already has nine such agreements in place with owners, and there are at least 18 other potentially dangerous or vicious animals on record, but there are problems with handling dangerous animals in this way.

At times, owners won’t agree to the terms and conditions for their potentially dangerous dog and the Burbank Animal Shelter must pursue a court hearing, said Castaneda, which often leads to euthanasia.

Shelter staff is requesting an ordinance of the City Council that would lead to more timely court hearings, quicker resolution, and additional city code changes outlining new processes. The City Council will consider the ordinance at its next meeting later this month.

First published in the February 16 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

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