Concerns over dangerous dogs in Colorado Springs and El Paso County

Officials say this will make the owner responsible for future corrections before another incident occurs.
Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 4:36 PM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Colorado is known to be one of the most dog-friendly states in the country- and the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region hopes to keep it that way.

According to the National Library of Medicine, more than 4.5 million people are bitten nationally by dogs each year. In the United States, each day around 1,000 people require emergency care treatment for serious dog bite injuries.

In the last month, there have been five fatal dog bites reported.

This week, the local Humane Society presented a dangerous dog ordinance to the city council.

The ordinance focused on dangerous dog encounters and opportunities for proactive measures moving forward.

In a statement from the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, they said, “There has been an increase in Dangerous Dog cases in Colorado Springs/El Paso County, and Animal Law Enforcement believes that ensuring we have strict penalties such as mandatory education, mandatory spay and neuter, and defining containment requirements upon conviction will benefit the community. Adding an “at risk” or potentially dangerous ordinance allows for progressive penalties for less serious dog attacks. This will put an owner on notice for necessary corrections to be made prior to any further incidents.”

The Dangerous Dog Ordinance results from Animal Law Enforcement seeing dangerous and aggressive dog investigations going up in El Paso County over the last ten years.

The slideshow presented current statistics, Animal Law Enforcement responses, and an action plan.

Officials say this will make the owner responsible for future corrections before another incident occurs.

After speaking with pet owners at a local dog park, they told me the responsibility lies with the owner.

“I think that most of the dog owners have an intuition, and they know when they’re not to going take their small dogs into the big dog park,” dog owner Yvette Villeneuve said. “Even kids, they know not to take the kids into there. It’s something that I think they just know.”

As a frequent dog park goer, she has only ever seen one dog fight, “And there was a guy that would bring his bigger it wasn’t really a bigger dog, but it was vicious. And he doesn’t come anymore because everyone kept telling him. And he tried to keep it on a leash and do all that, and finally, he just quit coming.”

Most people told me they have never felt threatened by the dogs at the park but know risks are always involved.

“But as far as dog responsibility goes, you just got to kind of trust them as they trust you and kind of take the risk every time you go,” dog owner Ian said.

Until further research and conversation, nothing has been decided for this specific proposal. But there is already a city ordinance regarding Dangerous Dogs. Their hope is to have stronger penalties when someone is convicted but also of having more progressive ordinances.