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Published: Thursday, 5/13/2010

Lucas County Dog Warden reinstituting dog license checks

BLADE STAFF
Julie Lyle Julie Lyle
JETTA FRASER Enlarge

The Lucas County Dog Warden's office will resume door-to-door inspections to make sure dogs are licensed.

Dog Warden Julie Lyle announced Thursday that the inspections, which were suspended two years ago, will start again next week.

She said the agency will use a formula to target areas that have higher populations, low license compliance, and a history of complaints.

Ms. Lyle said the dog warden's main function is still to enforce the law against dogs running loose and the requirement of having a dog license.

"If your dog is running at large, that is a problem. That is against the law," Ms. Lyle said. "We do respond to those calls every day, many of them, dogs running at large. Whether it's a poodle or a pit bull we're responding."

She said that allowing a vicious dog to run loose is a first-degree misdemeanor. Under Ohio law, the definition of a vicious dog is one that injures a person, that kill another dog, or is a "pit bull-type" dogs, Ms. Lyle said.

"We're going to be going after those dogs and going after those owners for letting those dogs run loose," Ms. Lyle said.

She also said the dog warden will enforce the law requiring proper confinement of a vicious dog — a locked, fenced area out of which the dog cannot jump or tunnel.

Ms. Lyle took over after the retirement of former longtime Dog Warden Tom Skeldon, whose emphasis on euthanizing dogs he deemed to be "pit bulls," rather than offering them for adoption, became controversial.

Ms. Lyle has begun a program of transferring adult pit bulls to the Toledo Area Humane Society for adoption, but she said the program is still in its infancy.



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