Proposed “Dangerous Dog” Registry in Nassau County
Under a new bill, Nassau County would implement a registry and warning system for “dangerous dogs” that would alert neighbors to dogs with a history of attacking others.
Moved by Légis. John Ferretti (R-Levittown) and Rose Marie Walker (R-Hicksville), the measure dubbed “Benny’s Law” was passed by two legislative committees and is expected to be approved by the entire county legislature on February 22, where the Republicans hold an 11-8 majority.
Ferretti said he worked out the bill with the Nassau County SPCA after his family dog Benny suffered a severe stroke on election day 2019. Ferretti returned home to find the dog had been mutilated by a larger dog across the street with a history of aggressive behavior.
“It is a very serious problem,” Ferretti said on Monday. “And I really hope that when this is passed – if the county executive enacts it – it will prevent further attacks that my family has experienced and so many other families.”
Ferretti said his dog survived after several surgeries.
Vicki DiStefano, spokesperson for Nassau County executive Laura Curran, said the administration was “reviewing legislation and logistics.”
Under this measure, if a judge determines that a dog meets the threshold of “dangerous dog”, owners must send the court order to neighbors within a 1,000-foot radius, or about six blocks, for s ‘ensure they know the potential threat.
Owners should also include their addresses, the date of the incidents, the duration of the “dangerous dog” designation, as well as the breed, weight, age and color of the dog.
Nassau County Police and the SPCA would enforce the law. Violators would be fined $ 500 and an additional $ 100 each day thereafter if they do not comply with the law.
Ferretti said the owner of the dog who attacked Benny was brought to justice and the judge named the dog “dangerous”. Beyond that, there was nothing the court system could do and the dog was returned to the community, Ferretti said.
Nassau County SPCA chairman Gary Rogers said Ferretti and Walker’s bill would help protect animals and people in the community, as well as the dog that initiated the attack by preventing them. confrontations that might otherwise result in euthanasia.
“Sometimes dogs go out and do stupid things – they don’t listen to what we tell them and for some reason their instincts take over and they bite someone or bite another animal,” Rogers said.
“Our pets are like our children, and when something like this happens, it’s a terrible ordeal,” Walker said. The legislation “will ensure that residents know about dangerous dogs in neighborhoods and know how to take precautions when in the area.”