When Omaha put into effect its dangerous dog ordinance a year ago, the teeth of it was to identify dogs that could hurt someone and their careless owners. But there was more to it and now some owners aren't happy about it.
The Nebraska Humane Society has been getting many complaints about the penalty for a stray not being spayed or neutered. It costs $300 to get the dog back the first time, $600 the second and $1200 the third time and owners don't like it.
Why the hefty charge? "One reason behind it is that dogs who are in tact tend to be more aggressive and if they're out and roaming there's more problems with public safety," says Pam Wiese with the Nebraska Humane Society. "And they can reproduce so you're going to get more unwanted litters than dogs that are fixed."
We counted 18 dogs recently picked up and put in these cases. 7 haven't been spayed or neutered. That's lower than usual. Usually the number is closer to 8-of-every-10.
Owners can get most of the $300 back if they get their dog sterilized and micro-chipped. But some dog owners we talked with would never do that to their pure bred because it would hurt the value. The Humane Society understands but says that's the price you pay if your dog gets free.
Omaha upped the fee with the thinking that dog owners who aren't using the services should pay more if animal control has to get involved.