Lawmakers Expected to Consider Dangerous Dog Law Next Year

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AUGUSTA, Maine. (WABI) A bill to strengthen Maine's dangerous dogs law has moved forward.

The Animal Welfare Advisory Council approved the language of it and voted to send it along for further review.

The bill defines a dangerous dog as one that bites a person or domestic animal that is not trespassing on the owner's property at the time of the bite.

It could also be a dog that causes a reasonable person who is acting in an unaggressive manner to fear bodily harm.

It excludes police dogs and any dog that bites someone who's committing a crime against a person or property owned by the dog's keeper.

Owners of dangerous dogs need to register the animal with the state, post signs and be at least 21 years old.

"Young people especially, they can't get firearms or they want to act bigger or more important than they really are and having a dog with a badge that it's a dangerous dog is actually a good status symbol for them. And it's actually causing more of a risk through the community. So I disagree, no, if you're 21 and your dog has been deemed dangerous, chances are you should not be helming that animal," said Liam Hughes, Director of AWAC.

There will be hearings for the bill where the public can weigh in before lawmakers vote on it.