Virginia Beach City Council votes to change ‘dangerous dog’ ordinance

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Virginia Beach City Council voted on a change to the city’s dangerous dog ordinance Tuesday.

The vote comes after a 2017 change to state law, which gives dogs who bite a person or an animal the benefit of a doubt and aims to put fewer dogs on a state registry.

The City of Virginia Beach’s law now aligns with the state’s.

Among the changes, the new state ordinance allows animal control officers to determine if a dog is considered dangerous if it nips, scratches or causes a minor injury on a person or another pet.

Previously, officers had to summon the offending dog’s owner to court to argue why their pet shouldn’t be considered dangerous.

In Virginia the owners of dogs deemed to be dangerous must now obtain a dangerous dog certificate within 30 days instead of the 45 days previously required.

The changes to the ordinance were passed unanimously Tuesday.