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Broward commissioners approve Vice Mayor Sharief’s proposal to increase fines to promote responsible dog ownership

VICE MAYOR SHARIEFS Broward commissioners approve Vice Mayor Sharief’s proposal to increase fines to promote responsible dog ownership

Broward commissioners approve Vice Mayor Sharief’s proposal to increase fines to promote responsible dog ownership

Submitted by Kimberly Maroe,  Public Information Manager Broward County Commission

     An increase in fines for dogs who have been trained to fight, are unlicensed, or not spayed or neutered has been initially approved by Broward County commissioners. On Tuesday, commissioners directed the Broward County attorney to amend an existing ordinance that increases fines from a sliding scale (dependent on income) to $500 for dogs trained to “fight” and $300 for dogs not licensed or spayed/neutered.

    ”I took these fines to the maximum allowed by the state legislature. I don’t think you should have a first, second and third chance for a dog to hurt somebody or have an irresponsible pet owner have a pet running loose in neighborhoods. We have discount programs for vaccination and registration of animals, and I just want you to know that I have sat in the animal care court and the large majority of those dogs that come up in there are not registered and not vaccinated,” said Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief, who brought forward the proposal.

    ”That increase in fines is incredibly responsible, because what our focus really should be is to go after bad dog owners. They’re the ones that are responsible for turning dogs vicious,” said Commissioner Martin David Kiar.

    ”As we talked about the penalties, I would seek the strictest penalties possible with-in our power and also seek to increase those penalties. We attack the problem, which is poor human behavior, not banning a breed,” said Commissioner Chip LaMarca.

    Commissioners did not vote on a proposal to support legi-slation that favored asking the state legislature to allow Broward County to ban Pit Bulls or related breeds. Instead, Vice Mayor Sharief acted in favor of organizing a group of pet experts, Pit Bull owners and other interested parties to discuss and create viable solutions to fairly control aggressive dogs prevalent throughout Broward County. The meeting will be convened within the next few weeks.

    I’m curious to see what comes back after this group and your staff have an engaged conversation to take the work that you’ve already done for the last year and come back with a new item for this Commission to consider. You didn’t come to this discussion uninformed and you don’t take this lightly,” said Mayor Kristin Jacobs.

 

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    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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