Grover Beach to adopt new rules on aggressive pets

Grover Beach City Hall
Grover Beach City Hall dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Grover Beach may soon have new regulations in place to help police and county Animal Services staff respond to complaints about aggressive or menacing animals.

The Grover Beach City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Monday requiring pet owners to securely confine animals that are exhibiting aggressive behavior and pose a public safety risk. Councilwoman Karen Bright was absent.

The new ordinance gives officers a tool in situations where an animal clearly represents a potential public safety risk but has not injured anyone, city officials said. It will come back to the council for final approval.

In a staff report, police Chief Jim Copsey wrote that the ordinance “will assist enforcement officers in dealing with potentially aggressive animals in public areas such as our parks.”

The rules also establish a penalty for people whose negligence with an aggressive animal directly contributes to a serious attack on another privately owned animal.

In addition, property owners who allow tenants to keep aggressive animals on their properties may also be held liable for penalties.

Resident Linda McClure, who urged the council pass the ordinance, said she has trained her two Dobermans to walk calmly by her side and not lunge or snarl.

“If we see someone who is not caring properly (for an animal), we have to do something about that,” she said.

The city, like all others in the county, contracts with the San Luis Obispo County Division of Animal Services for animal control services. County supervisors approved an aggressive animal ordinance in April 2012.

The ordinance is one piece of a multi-faceted effort by the city to respond to concerns from some Grover Beach business owners and residents about problems in the West Grand Avenue corridor and around Ramona Garden Park.

Police have received many calls for service about illegal camping, panhandling, trespassing, littering, public intoxication, public urination, public defecation and other problems.