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Here’s The Scoop…Dangerous Dogs Update…

Requirements to Implement
1.    Access to the internet (to receive Red Alerts and to download a free copy of the Canine Threat Assessment Guide, C-TAG).
2.    The public has been made aware of the free Public Sightings of Problem Dogs service (a Crime-Stopper’s Tip Line, but on the internet, and for reporting aggressive dogs).
3.    Animal Services has registered their email address with Dog-Trax (free!) so Public Sightings in their jurisdiction are emailed directly to them. (From the website Home page, click on the Dog-Trax link, then click on the Register Now button.)
How to Proactively Reduce Dog Bites, NOW
Here’s an example demonstrating how a municipality can proactively reduce dog bites using 6 steps of the 7-Step Dangerous Dog Risk Mitigation Protocol:
1.    A new couple has just moved into a quiet family neighbourhood, and brought with them a large aggressive dog. This is reported by a concerned neighbour via the Public Sightings of Problem Dogs (PSPD) service available free from the websites: and
2.    An email of the Public Sighting is automatically sent by the system to the local Animal Control.
3.    Now alerted to the presence of the new dog, an Animal Control Officer (ACO) drops by to inform the newcomers of municipal licencing requirements, and gets a first-hand look at the dog. Like the neighbour said, the dog is openly hostile. Right then and there, the ACO can make an appointment to come by in the next day or two, in order to formally evaluate the dog using the C-TAG (Canine Threat Assessment Guide — free from websites), and to verify adequate containment is in place for the dog.
4.    If the ACO is especially concerned about children or seniors in the area, the ACO can drop a flyer off with each home within 1/4 mile of the dog, which alerts the neighbours to the presence of an aggressive dog in the community and gives them basic information on dog bite avoidance and dog-attack survival techniques. [Step #4 of the 7-Step Protocol]
5.    The newcomers hurry to put up their 6-ft. portable chain link dog pen, and the next day the ACO arrives to conduct the C-TAG Risk Assessment. It takes about half an hour. Based on objective risk factors, the C-TAG score for the dog indicates it is a “Category 4: Potentially-Dangerous Dog”. [Step #7]
6.    Because the municipality has mandated Microchipping and Multiple Levels of Adequate Containment for all Restricted Dogs, (i.e., Potentially-Dangerous, Dangerous, Potentially-Lethal or Lethal Dogs) the owners are required to microchip their dog and to implement another level of containment for it. [Steps #1 & #2] The ACO gives the owners a handout of information on municipal containment guidelines and examples of different options. (Note: based on either the level of danger the dog presents, or the problem-solving ability of the dog, more than 2 levels of containment may be indicated and can be required at the discretion of the ACO.)
7a.    Two weeks later, the ACO arrives to verify the dog has been microchipped and the additional containment measure implemented. The ACO scans and verifies the dog’s microchip, inspects and approves the additional level of containment, and has the owners sign-off that they have been informed of the dog’s potential threat, and that they agree to keep the dog in accordance with the township’s requirements. The ACO gives them a stamped, dated, and signed Restricted-Dog Licencing Approval form, which they must submit in order to licence their Restricted-Dog with the municipality. (Alternatively, the ACO could licence the dog right then and there.) [Step #5]
7b.    The owners have the intact male dog neutered. When they bring in proof of the neutering showing the dog’s microchip number on the paperwork, the dog’s C-TAG score is lowered by another 5 points, putting the dog in “Category 3 — Aggressive Dog”, which is not considered a Restricted-Dog in this township. Thus, the owners do not have to comply with the additional Restricted-Dog controls, and can register their dog with a standard municipal licence.
8.    [OPTIONAL STEP, 15 minutes to complete] The ACO returns to the office, signs onto the Dog-Trax Dangerous Dog Early Detection System, and creates a Dog Record for the dog, and an Owner Record for the husband. After the ACO has completed the husband’s record, in order to minimize data entry, while still on the husband’s screen, the ACO clicks on the [Save and Copy to a New Record] button, then completes only 3 additional fields to create the wife’s Owner Record (since all the rest of the contact information is the same). Now, even if the owners move, or get a divorce, or sell the dog, or get a different breed of dog, no matter where those two people and one dog go, their violations history will follow them. Likewise, a clean record will follow them, too. [Step #3]
The Advantages of this Approach:
—  Dangerous dog registries, dog-owner’s liability insurance, and “One-Bite Rules” rely on punishing dogs and owners after-the-fact, which contributes nothing to prevention. In contrast, the 7-Step Protocol is a “proactive” approach: potentially-problematic dogs are identified by objective risk factors and adequately contained BEFORE they bite.
—  The Canine Threat Assessment Guide (C-TAG) is an evidence-based, expert-reviewed, breed-independent tool for determining the level of threat a given dog poses to the public and to its family. Because the C-TAG is universal and standardized, the same dog should receive approximately the same C-TAG score and be placed in the same threat category by different ACOs in different parts of the country. Because the risk factors used to evaluate dogs are strictly defined, discrimination against specific dog breeds will be minimized, and thus, this approach should be found more palatable to owners of these breeds.
—  Unknowledgeable/inexperienced owners are made aware of the emphasis on responsible dog ownership in this township, and are provided with the information and tools they need to become responsible owners.
—  Irresponsible or negligent owners will be identified early on in the process, enabling increased regulatory scrutiny and pressure to be applied, with heavier penalties exacted sooner for continued non-compliance.
—  By focusing dog bite prevention education on populations that are at highest risk of encountering aggressive dogs, the educational efforts become more effective.
—  The Public Sightings of Problem Dogs service empowers residents to prevent dog bites in their own homes and communities, and by enabling the public to serve as the “eyes and ears” of Animal Control, increases the effectiveness of this universally under-staffed, under-funded agency.

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