November 14, 2013 By News Staff
An interactive map of dangerous dogs may soon be available for citizens of Orange County, Calif., pinpointing exact locations of the county’s estimated 150 potentially dangerous or vicious dogs.
“Why would you even want a vicious dog?” asked Supervisor Todd Spitzer during a meeting in September, according to the Mercury News. “But assuming you do, the public has a right to know you have it.”
The county code defines a “potentially dangerous” dog as one that has attacked or attempted to attack a human on two separate occasions during an 18-month period, while a “vicious” dog has seriously maimed or killed someone. Dog bites in Orange County have risen from 2, 281 in 2011 to 2,384 in 2012.
“We would like residents to know where those dogs are just as a public safety precaution,” Orange County Animal Care Director Ryan Drabek told NBC.
A similar map has been in use in Knox County, Tenn., since May 2013. Residents of the area can use the map to connect to links that display the dangerous canine’s picture, owner, address and related incident reports. The reason for labeling the dog as dangerous is also provided. Reasons range from biting a person to killing an animal.
For a Knox County level 1 offense, the dog is left on the map for 18 months. For a more serious level 2 offense, they are listed permanently. According to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, the map is intended to help keep people, pets and neighborhoods informed and safe.
New York City has a dog map of its own, created by a local radio station, although it doesn't distinguish between friendly and dangerous animals. The map lists the name, addresses and breeds of nearly 100,000 dogs using data from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. It also illustrates the most popular dog breeds, as well as most popular names.
The Orange County, Calif., Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on the dangerous dog map on Dec. 17.