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Taking the Bite Out of Dangerous Dogs in Marion County Essay

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Nationwide, approximately 50 percent of all children will be bitten by a dog before they reach the age of twelve (DeIorio, “Have a Dog-Bite-Free Summer”). In Marion County, Florida, aggressive and dangerous breads of dogs are a “serious issue” for the community according to Marion County Commissioner Jim Payton (Thompson, “County drops '1 free kill'”). Responsible dog owners seem to be unaware of the problem but area residents who have been victims of these attacks have turned to the Marion County Board of Commissioners for help. The local County Commissioners have been wrestling with this issue since October of 2009 when a widow from Ocklawaha, Patricia McBee, had three of her dogs euthanized after they allegedly killed her neighbor’s cat (Thompson, “County drops ‘1 free kill’”). The need for change moved even faster after a 3-year-old little girl was attacked and killed by a dog that was chained to a tree outside her house in Citra (Lee, “Girl, 3, mauled”).
The Marion County Board of Commissioners have been working with community leaders and the Marion County Animal Services department to develop a plan to help eliminate the problems. The local animal control ordinances have been evaluated and revised in hopes of preventing future problems before they develop. The first step was to create an annual “dangerous canine breed” registration fee of $500 for local dog owners that would discourage ownership of dangerous breeds by county residents. Marion County Commissioner Jim Payton stated that, “there is no reason for the public to be put at risk by these animals. We need to make it as stringent as we possibly can to protect the public." (Thompson, “County drops ‘1 free kill’”). Attempts to fix the local animal control ordinances ...


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...Type Dog in Ocala.” DogsBite.org. 24 Feb. 2010. Web. 12 Jun. 2010.
DeIorio, Elaine. “Have a Dog-Bite-Free Summer” Marion County Animal Services 17 May 2010. Web. 12 Jun. 2010.
Lee, Suevon. “Girl, 3, mauled to death by dog.” Ocala Star-Banner 21 Feb. 2010. Web. 12 Jun. 2010.
Sorentrue, Heather. “Dangerous Dog Ordinance Prompts Barking Match.” Central Florida News 13 19 Dec. 2009. Web. 12 Jun. 2010.
Sorentrue, Heather. “‘Dangerous’ Dog Owner: Let My Ulu Go.” Central Florida News 13 29 Apr. 2010. Web. 12 June 2010.
Sorentrue, Heather. “‘Marion County Debates Putting Down Violent Dogs” Central Florida News 13 2 Feb. 2010. Web. 12 June 2010.
Thompson, Bill. “County drops '1 free kill' from bad-dog plan.” Ocala Star-Banner 3 Feb. 2010. Web. 12 Jun. 2010.
Thompson, Bill. “Residents not happy with new dog laws.” Ocala Star-Banner 15 Mar. 2010. Web. 12 Jun. 2010.


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