Dangerous Dogs

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Note: Tracking of serious dogs bites began in 2008.

Why This Is Important

Dangerous dogs can pose a risk to the dog's owner, the owner's family, friends and the communities in which they live. They are also possible indicators of underlying criminal activity occurring in a household, such as gangs, drugs and domestic violence. Dangerous dogs are often abused, unsocialized and unpredictable, which makes them serious threats to the physical safety of the neighborhood residents.

What's Being Done

The City encourages the public to report any animal bites or other dangerous animal behavior. A reduction in reported bites may not indicate fewer bites but rather fewer people reporting them. Instead of relying on bite reports for this measure, the City will be gauging the level of dangerous dog activity by tracking reported bites in relation to the total of three sets of data: the number of dogs declared dangerous, the number of destruct orders issued (as a result of a bite or dangerous situation), and the number of dogs euthanized due to bites (but where a destruct order was not possible).

Key initiatives the City is using to reduce the number of serious dog bites include:

  • Following up all bite reports and rigorously following up with dangerous animals.
  • Impounding any animals that inflict a serious bite.
  • Aggressively enforcing the City's dangerous animal ordinance.
  • Finding new ways to prevent potentially dangerous animals from biting, such as seizing unlicensed dogs and placing restrictions on violent offender ownership.
  • Collaborating with the Minneapolis Police Department to identify dangerous animals, including having foot patrols with Animal Control and police officers in high-crime neighborhoods.
  • Collaborating with the local schools to teach children about animal safety and debunk the dangerous dog mystique.

About This Measure

Animal bite data is based on the number of bites reported to Minneapolis Animal Care and Control. The bites include both animal-on-animal and animal-on-human bites. Serious bites are those defined as bites from animals declared as dangerous, received a destruct order, or were released by the owner for euthanasia after a bite.

Last updated Feb. 23, 2012

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